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Copper Demand Set to Outstrip Supply, Threatening Climate Targets and Energy Transition.

21 Apr 2023 1:55 pm
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According to executives and analysts at the World Copper Conference, the world is facing a copper supply shortage that could threaten the energy transition and climate goals. Copper is widely used in electronic devices, motors, batteries, and wiring. Demand for metal is expected to surge due to the growth of electric vehicles and the green energy transition. Despite efforts to increase recycling, global copper supply is predicted to fall 1.7% short of demand by 2035, even as it is expected to rise 26% to 38.5 million tonnes annually by that time. Analysts warn that EV manufacturers could turn to alternatives like aluminium without enough copper. Aluminum is lighter and cheaper than copper but more corrosive, brittle, and only about 60% as conductive. Nevertheless, the ICA said it could be an acceptable alternative in some applications, including wiring for offshore wind turbines and some EVs. The regulatory approval for new copper mines has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, and copper executives acknowledge that mining has a poor reputation due in part to past safety failures. Copper recycling rates are rising, but industry executives said a truly "circular economy" where copper is almost entirely recycled is unlikely in the near future. For example, Aurubis AG says nearly half of its copper cathodes are made with recycled material, but it will take decades to reach 100%. "Recycling materials, even if everything could be collected, would be insufficient for demand," said Aurubis CEO Roland Harings. "We need more mining activity because the demand for copper is just going up in the years to come."
(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau: 09820130172)

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