Much is changing in the mining industry as the global shift toward decarbonization is driving demand for materials used in producing environmentally conscious products. Companies with robust environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives are becoming more attractive to investors, further stimulating growth in those areas. Innovations such as autonomous vehicles are also changing the mining industry.
Areas of Focus
The trend to reduce carbon emissions is spurring growth in renewable energy, electric vehicles (EVs), fuel cell and battery storage. There are currently $4 trillion in renewable energy projects under development. Global EV sales are expected to grow 50% in 2021, with General Motors pledging to have an all-electric fleet by 2035. Materials such as copper, lithium, bauxite, cobalt and rare earths, along with nickel and platinum group metals are used in the production of these products and will see an increase in demand.
Copper is the largest of the energy transition metals. Global consumption of copper is currently at 29.2 million tons. With the move towards EVs, demand is expected to skyrocket to 60 million tons by 2050. Prices are at a seven-year high and are expected to continue an upward trajectory as needs for the metal increase.
Platinum is used as a catalyst in hydrogen fuel cells. The steel industry is working to implement hydrogen as a fuel source, and the EU is also investing heavily in the technology. The need for the material will surge as the technology is adopted.
Rare Earths are used to manufacture wind turbines and are anticipated to experience exponential increases in demand.
Both the United States and Canada are well-positioned to capitalize on the rising need for carbon-fighting materials. The U.S. is a top-five market for energy transition metals. Canada is 12th globally.
Traditional Metals Remain in High Demand
The economic instability generated by the pandemic sparked a rise in prices for traditional precious metals such as gold and silver. As a result, gold prices catapulted to record highs. There are 35 gold mining projects under construction in the region. The largest is a $1.3 billion gold mine in Ontario that will start production in the second half of 2023. Western Canada is also a hotspot for gold and silver production. The U.S. and Canada are the second-largest worldwide market for these materials.
In the U.S., Nevada and Alaska have the most active mining projects, followed by California, Arizona and Texas. The Upper Midwest (Minnesota and Michigan) are also experiencing substantial activity. In total, there are 3,724 active mining projects within the borders of the two countries.
John Crane Serves the Mining Industry
Regardless of the situation, John Crane is here to serve the mining industry’s needs. For companies in areas anticipating growth, our sites in the region are operating in accordance with recommended health guidelines and doing their best to ensure worker and public safety. Local production and service centers are equipped to supply the mining market with the products and repairs needed to meet growing demand. Technicians and engineers are available to troubleshoot problems that delay production. For areas forecasting further difficulties, John Crane offers products and engineering solutions that aid in cost control and the conservation of natural resources.
John Crane provides innovative sealing solutions and engineering support regardless of required customer parameters. Our team is prepared to assist, whether it be uncovering cost-cutting solutions, eliminating environmental hazards or keeping rotating equipment operational. Learn how John Crane can support your mining operation.
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The information in this article was sourced from Industrial Info Resources Global Mining Outlook.