Metals Necessary for Global Transition to Renewable Energy
VANCOUVER, Canada – TheNewswire - May 11, 2021 -- Dear Retail Investors (“Dear Retail”) – a leading online platform and newsletter for essential small-cap investing education, tools, and insight – is calling on all retail investors to consider the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments of mining companies they are investing in.
Copper, nickel, lithium, aluminum, and cobalt are also called the “transition metals” due to their vital role in the shift from combustion-engine powered vehicles and fossil fuels to electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure.
Electric vehicles require on average four times more copper than gasoline powered vehicles, and Scottish consultancy Wood Mackenzie estimates that by 2030 there will be more than 20 million EV charging stations, consuming 250% more copper than in 2019. Wood Mackenzie also estimates that more than $1 trillion of investment will be needed in key energy transition metals over the next 15 years to meet the growing demands of decarbonization in order to keep global warming at less than 2 degrees by 2050.
However, these metals need to be mined from the earth, and the world is currently facing a paradox wherein mining, an emission-intensive industry that can have long-lasting environmental consequences, will play a vital role in helping the world reduce its carbon emissions in the long-term.
Investors who would like to support ESG-conscious mining projects can look for companies that are pursuing sustainable goals to reduce environmental impact and contribute positively to surrounding local communities. Dear Retail spoke with the executive teams of several high-quality transition metals mining projects to gain further insight into what ESG-committed mining encompasses.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project, a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (20%), has been independently ranked as the world’s largest undeveloped, high-grade copper discovery.
Ivanhoe’s President and CFO, Marna Cloete, tells Dear Retail: “The global supply-demand narratives involving climate change and the electrification of the world economy have certainly gained traction over the past year as major themes for the copper market. I think we had previously foreseen supply-side issues based on declining mine grades and a very low rate of discovery over the past 20 years, but the onset of green investment and government stimulus targets has added a structural demand element to the copper story that's really brought potential issues around the mineral supply-chain into the mainstream.
Everyone from investors and politicians, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), are asking serious questions about the critical mineral supply we are going to require to reach various national electrification quotas and the more aggressive targets from the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, we are also amid this emerging ESG revolution that will make it more complicated to bring new mines into production.
At Ivanhoe Mines, we're fortunate to be working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at our Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project and Kipushi Zinc Project. The country has abundant hydropower potential and we connected the initial Kakula Copper Mine, on track for first production by June, to the grid in December. The DRC is home to a wealth of young, energized people who are very keen to learn and participate in the mining process. Kamoa-Kakula's industry-leading copper grades, and flat-lying nature, of the Kamoa-Kakula ore bodies also will allow us to leverage modern, automated mining techniques and place approximately half of our tailings back underground to limit the mine's surface footprint.”
Josemaria Resources, a 100% owned copper-gold project in San Juan, Argentina with proven and probable mineral reserves of 6.7 billion lbs of copper, is progressing on its plans to use renewable energy sources for power, and to re-use saltwater at the mining site in order to conserve water and eliminate the use of fresh water.
Josemaria’s CEO Adam Lundin, who is also a Director of the Lundin Foundation, tells Dear Retail: “At Josemaria we are continuing the Lundin Group of Companies’ commitment to sustainable mine development. We are very involved with the local community of San Juan province, and we have a commitment to not just reduce the environmental impact of the project, but also to improve the quality of life for the people of San Juan for the long-term. The design of the mine takes into account the natural topography of the land to reduce energy expenditure. In addition, we will be using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar wherever possible as we develop the project. Through the Lundin Foundation, we are finding ways to directly support local businesses and infrastructure, and providing educational resources to help local entrepreneurs and business owners succeed. Lundin Energy has just sold the world’s first ever certified carbon neutrally produced oil, and we expect to be able to expand some of these carbon emission-conscious production methods to Josemaria.”
At a ceremony held in San Juan province on February 23rd in honor of Josemaria completing its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), the Governor of San Juan, Sergio Uñac, stated: “There are many benefits to working alongside a company like Josemaria. They have demonstrated reliability and their positive goals with regards to the environment and the community are in alignment with ours in San Juan. Their planned investment of $3B in our San Juan province, would be the engine for improving the livelihoods of the stakeholders and the local communities. It will contribute significantly to the economic diversification of San Juan by creating more formal jobs and stable incomes for the workforce, and increasing the sales of goods and services of our local suppliers. Josemaria will provide a very significant social and economic contribution to our province, and will double our provincial exports and increase mining employment by over 30%".
Millennial Lithium Corp. is focused on the development of its Pastos Grandes lithium project in the heart of the “Lithium Triangle” in Salta, Argentina, which has proven reserves of 179,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) and probable reserves of 764,000 tonnes of LCE.
Millennial CEO Farhad Abasov told Dear Retail: “Millennial Lithium has a strong ESG record and continues to advance its Pastos Grandes Project in Salta, Argentina. The Company has been granted approval of its thorough Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for development and exploitation, which included extensive baseline studies in the area of the project and detailed descriptions of mitigation measures to ensure environmental guardianship in the future.
In an effort to reduce the Company’s carbon footprint, the current camp and pilot plant are operated using a hybrid power system which includes a solar field with battery storage currently generating about 50% of the project’s needs. A solar power field is also included in the Company’s Feasibility Study as it appears the +25% of the power requirement for the project can be generated by solar.
The Company also has a strong relationship with the local community and has recently completed construction of a large community/recreation/training facility as well as a fresh water well to provide clean water to the village. In the past infant deaths were not uncommon in the village due to tainted surface water which was widely used for common household needs. The new well provides a secure source of clean water which will improve the health of all in the village. The Salta government has been a strong supporter of lithium project in the province and of mining in general. All Company interactions with the government are transparent and Millennial is in full compliance with all mining and corporate regulations in the country.”
If you’d like to learn more about up-and-coming mining projects that are committed to environmentally responsible mining practices, subscribe to Dear Retail Investors here.
SOURCE: Dear Retail Investors
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