Sometimes the title says it all: “Copper and cars: Boom goes beyond electric vehicles,” writes Mining.com contributor Frik Els.
And indeed, while there is some uncertainty in light of the specter of a trade war looming between the United States and China, triggering a market pullback, the longer term outlook for Copper remains “rosy” precisely because the “boom goes beyond electric vehicles.”
Though not the first material that comes to mind — most people think Lithium, Cobalt or Nickel — Copper is widely used being widely used in electric vehicles, charging stations, and supporting infrastructure. With surging demand for electric vehicles, it is not surprising that the spotlight is on EV technology and the metals underpinning that technology.
However, as we have previously pointed out, and as Visual Capitalist has skillfully visualized, Copper is not just (partially) driving the EV revolution, it is fueling the green energy revolution on a much broader scale than one would initially think.
A recent report by BMO Capital Markets confirms this notion, writes Els:
“The Canadian investment bank says the global push towards green energy necessitates ‘significant numbers’ of small-scale electricity generation units to be connected to the grid.
Solar will add 2.5 million tonnes per year to global copper demand by 2025 and wind 1.85 million tonnes says BMO, adding that offshore wind installations are particularly copper intensive, averaging over 9 tonnes of copper per megawatt.”
With Copper projects “notoriously large-scale in size, and the pipeline of new projects [being] the lowest in a century” it comes as no surprise that some observers believe a supply crunch could come sooner than expected.
The issue of a looming supply crunch becomes even more pertinent when factoring in Copper’s Gateway Metal status, as the metal yields access to at least five metals and minerals deemed “critical” on the Department of Interior’s recently-released list of 35.
*** To learn more about the important relationship between Gateway Metals and Co-Products read our recent report here. ***
Copper has played an important role in our past. It is a cornerstone of our present, but it is also a key building block our our (green energy) future. It may not have made Sec. Zinke’s Critical Minerals List this year, but leaving it out of the policy equation could cost us dearly.