The Asia Miner

JAN-MAR 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 1 31 FEATURE: Copper Deloie predicts that by 2035, demand for copper will reach 11 million tonnes, and that is for electric vehicles (EVs) alone. This appears to be solidly supported by the Internaঞonal Energy Agency's (IEA) forecast that EVs will grow from three million to 125 million by 2030 spurred by policies that encourage drivers, fleets and municipaliঞes to purchase clean-running cars. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, the fleet of EVs grew 54 per cent to approximately 3.1 million in 2017. The IEA, however, does acknowledge that government policy will be the cornerstone for EV adopঞon – as seen in Europe and China, where policies are driving the demand for EVs, with the two countries fast becoming the two biggest adopters of the vehicles. The IEA states that in China, credits and subsidies "will help EVs grow to account for more than a quarter of the car market by 2030". Meanwhile, says the IEA, "ঞghtening emissions standards and high fuel taxes in Europe will boost the vehicles to 23 per cent of the market". According to reports, China is already proving to be a heavyweight in the space, with new electric car sales surging by 72 per cent, or 580000 units, in 2017, pushing total ownership over 1 million vehicles. The country is also driving growth in electric buses and two- wheeled vehicles, accounঞng for about 99 per cent of the world's stock of the fast-growing categories. Along with other tradiঞonal base metals like nickel and aluminium, copper finds itself caught by two long term market forces. The first is a gradual global push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in transportaঞon, uঞlity and manufacturing sectors. The second, is the mass commercialisaঞon of low or zero GHG energy sources and associated baery storage soluঞons. Copper is the best non-precious metal for conducঞvity of electricity and is one of the most recycled metals globally. It is extremely ducঞle, corrosion-resistant and can be alloyed with a variety of other metals to suit many end-uses. One of these end-uses is the clean energy future. Renewables and energy-efficient equipment are recognised as the key pillars of the clean-energy transiঞon and all these sectors represent major growth opportuniঞes for copper. Wind and Solar The ICA esঞmates that wind and solar power currently consঞtute 12 per cent of the global energy mix. "Europe dominates with nearly 25 per cent of its power generated by wind and solar. It is esঞmated that global solar and wind power will each account for over one terawa of capacity by 2035," says the ICA. Energy efciency Energy-efficiency encompasses the efficiency of equipment, including distribuঞon transformers, electric motors and air condiঞoners. These applicaঞons are among the largest electricity consumers and are also major consumers of copper. They accounted for an esঞmated 4.7 million tonnes of copper in 2017 or approximately 17 percent of all copper usage. A combined growth rate of 4.1 percent per annum to 9.7 million tonnes by 2035 is forecast for these applicaঞons. The ICA sees these markets as "targets for energy- efficiency regulaঞon and other iniঞaঞves, and as a result WHERE TO FOR COPPER? No matter who you ask, the general consensus is that copper will continue its upward trajectory when most minerals are continuing their roller-coaster rides on the commodities market. Along with other traditional base metals like nickel and aluminium, copper finds itself caught by two long term market forces.

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