As global initiatives for clean energy continue to grow, minerals will remain in high demand worldwide. The World Bank estimates three billion tons of minerals and metals will be required for wind, solar, geothermal power and energy storage needed to limit average global warming by two degrees Celsius by 2100. The ambitious objectives set to reduce climate change will affect virtually every nation and industry. In the U.S. alone, the current goal to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060 could increase mineral demands by 1,000% by 2050, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
A potential bottleneck to electrification is that all alternative energy sources require an amount of minerals that greatly outpaces the current global supply. In order to meet U.S. and international CO2 emissions policies and advance alternative energy, the mining industry will be more important than ever. Minerals sourced around the world have the potential to strengthen the alternative energy supply chain, jumpstart the economy and create high-paying jobs.
Electric vehicles alone require twice the metals compared to internal combustion engines, because the lithium-ion batteries at the core of EV technology are comprised of lithium, nickel, cobalt and graphite. Deloitte reports that global electric vehicle sales are expected to grow exponentially from 11.2 million in 2025 to 31.1 million by 2030. According to the World Bank, the EV revolution may drive up global demand for battery metals by 500% or more by 2050. As a result, if demand for minerals continues to outpace supply, it won’t be possible to produce the alternative technologies necessary to reduce emissions.
In June 2021, The National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO, Rich Nolan, stated, “Rebuilding domestic mineral production to underpin infrastructure reinvestment, our national security and to deploy advanced energy technologies at the speed and scale climate action requires means we must move immediately to support domestic mining.”
While an investment in mining will produce the natural resources necessary to advance alternative energy, the benefits are far more extensive and wide-reaching. NMA statistics show that last year, in the U.S. alone, minerals mining contributed $82.3 billion in gross domestic product to the economy and provided 420,000 direct jobs at an average wage of over $80,000. The mining industry represents a robust industrial base to empower an electrified future — as well as hundreds of thousands of jobs that will rebuild local and global economies.
Everything needed to propel the industry forward and source necessary raw materials can be found at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2021, which will be held September 13-15. The largest mining event in the world, MINExpo® attracts premium suppliers of the latest equipment, technologies, products and solutions that will enable mining operations to achieve new levels of profitability while maximizing operational efficiencies.
Covering more than 660,000 net square feet of expo space, MINExpo is the only in-person event this year offering the ability to get up close and explore the latest mining innovations and equipment. With more than 1,200 exhibiting companies, the event provides a unique opportunity to ask specific questions to professional subject-matter experts, in addition to a comprehensive curriculum of technical education. The safety and health of exhibitors, attendees, and show partners is the highest priority. The NMA is working closely with the Las Vegas Convention Center and federal, state and local public health officials to incorporate best practices at every level of the show.
Now is the perfect time for industry leaders and decision-makers to come together to source new strategies and purchase equipment, products and services needed to meet the global demands for minerals and resources that have the potential to drive alternative energy, rebuild vulnerable supply chains and bolster the economy.