Critical minerals & the transition
The mining industry is vital to the low-carbon transition.
From electric vehicle batteries to wind and solar technologies, low-carbon solutions are extremely mineral-intensive, and preventing catastrophic levels of global warming will depend on global capacity to extract a group of critical minerals. According to World Bank calculations, production of key minerals including graphite and lithium will need to ramp up nearly 500% to have a 50% chance of keeping global warming below 2°C by 2100.
However, experts are warning that, without substantial new investment, critical mineral supply in the short to medium-term will lag behind demand, resulting in perilous delays in lowering global emissions. Though mineral demand forecasts vary dramatically depending on different global energy mix assumptions, shortages are predicted across the board for the ingredients of EV batteries and other energy storage solutions, and raw material shortages are already hampering EV production. With mines taking up to 15 years to reach production, a lack of investment in mining now will translate to shortages further down the line.