The potential of"green" metals and minerals, which along with copper and cobalt include nickel, lithium and graphite, is adding to renewed excitement about investing in mining firms as they emerge from the wreckage of a $ 1trn splurge of over -investment during the china-led commodities supercycle,
Even as they promise capital discipline, however, demand for green metals and minerals is tempting them to spend.
Last year BHP declared that 2017 could be the year "when the electric-car revolution really gets started". A surge in the prices of batteries supported that notion. Minerals such as copper, cobalt and lithium, has added to the excitement. China, the world's biggest manufacturer of Electric Vehicles, is gobbling up suppliers. In November, China Molybdenum, which is listed in Shanghai, became the majority owner of Tenke Fungurume, a huge copper and cobalt mine in Congo owned by BHR. China Moly, like many steel producers now, have looked closely at Electric Vehicles-related demand, considering that an average battery-powered EV will contain 80 kilograms of copper.
There is a forecast that by 2035, there will be 140mil Electric Vehicles on the road, versus 1mil today.
Manufacturing them could require at least 8.5m tonnes a year of additional copper, or about an extra 33% on top of today's global copper demand.
According to Sanford C.Bernstein, which uses a bold estimate that almost all new cars will be electric by 2035, global copper supplies would need to double to meet demand by then.
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