Visualizing the Growing Demand for Nickel and Copper
Nickel and copper play a vital role in a clean energy future, as both metals are used in many new technologies like EV batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines.
This visualization from our sponsor Premium Nickel explores how responsible mining will be essential to meet the demand for these metals.
Nickel and Copper in the Clean Energy Transition
Copper is a critical mineral in the production of EVs, used in electric motors, batteries, and charging infrastructure. The metal is an excellent conductor of electricity, making it ideal for use in vehicles.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), an average EV can contain around 53kg of copper compared to 22kg in a combustion vehicle. As a result, copper demand for EV batteries alone is expected to jump from 210,000 tonnes in 2020 to 1.8 million tonnes in 2030.
||Content in electric vehicles (kg)
||Content in conventional cars (kg)
|Graphite (natural and synthetic)
Nickel is another important mineral in the clean energy transition, as it is used in the production of EV batteries. One of the benefits of using nickel in EV batteries is that it can increase the energy density of the battery.
Additionally, nickel can help to reduce the cost of EV batteries, as it is less expensive than other materials commonly used in battery production.
In a scenario that meets the Paris Agreement goals, clean energy technologies’ share of total nickel demand rises significantly over the next two decades to over 60%.
Pioneering Principled Copper and Nickel Mining
Nickel and copper production are both currently emissions intensive.
For copper, the emissions intensity is about 4.5 kg of CO2 for every kg produced. Nickel’s emissions intensity varies from ~20–80 kg CO2 per kg of nickel produced, depending on the purity of the final product and the extraction process used.
Recent research has shown that consumers are also more aware of their environmental impact. In fact, 26% of American vehicle buyers cited their personal environmental impact as the top influencing factor in buying or leasing a vehicle.
In this context, responsible mining practices must be in place to ensure a sustainable supply chain.
Premium Nickel is targeting to produce high-grade concentrates of both nickel and copper using carbon efficient technologies.
The company’s flagship projects in Botswana are been developed to minimize the environmental footprint, using less power, less water, alternative energy sources.
Using new technology and working closely with the community, the company has adopted the highest international standards for the protection of the environment, while developing its projects.
Premium Nickel is well positioned to meet the growing demand for nickel and copper. Click here to learn more about the company.