The Asia Miner

JAN-FEB 2018

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

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6 | ASIA Miner | Volume 15 • Issue 1 | 2018 PROJECTIONS of the increasing abundance of EVs, including hy- brids, plug-ins and full electric, are wide ranging. Wood Mackenzie's forecast is for sales of passenger EVs to increase from 2.4 million in 2016 to approximately 14.2 million in 2025. In battery capacity terms, this is the equivalent of an increase from 26 GWh to 215 GWh over the same period. Most of the batteries generating this power are expected to be based on nickel-containing chemistries. There are two basic types of nickel containing EV batteries: nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium ion (Li-ion). NiMH has long been the preferred battery type in hybrid EVs, although Wood Mackenzie expects it to be largely replaced by Li-ion chemistries by 2025. Not all Li-ion variants contain nickel (for example, lithium iron phosphate (LFP)), but the present consensus is that NCM (NiCoMn) and NCA (NiCoAl) will remain the dominant formulations for the foreseeable future. At the same time, Wood Mackenzie believes that the portion of nickel in NCM batteries will increase, partly in response to the im- pact of high cobalt prices on cost, but also because of the im- proved energy density nickel imparts. Thus, the preference looks set to evolve from NCM 111 (20% nickel), to NCM 523 or 622 (30- 36%). NCM 811(48%) is under development although the rigours of testing and certification indicate that commercial use is no closer than 3-5 years away. There is a wide range of assumptions that have to be made in or- der to estimate how much nickel could be consumed in EV batter- ies by 2025. These include predictions of EV sales both in terms of number and vehicle type, the relative shares of the different battery types used by the fleet and the average battery capacity of each vehicle type. Using this top down approach, Wood Mackenzie estimates that nickel demand in EV batteries increases from about 40,000 tonnes in 2016 to an estimated 220,000 in 2025. When other battery ap- plications are included, such as consumer electronics and energy storage, this figure increases to 275,000 tonnes of nickel demand in 2025, approximately 12% of 2025 global supply. The outlook for nickel is, therefore, one of deepening deficits, fall- ing stocks and rising prices. THE Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to dramatically reduce the impact of mining operations on the environment, according to new research from mobile satellite company Inmarsat, which found that environmental monitoring is the number one driver of IoT in the sector. The research suggests IoT will enable mining businesses to moni- tor their assets more accurately, reacting more quickly to any poten- tial issues and minimising environmental damage. In May 2017, market research specialist Vanson Bourne inter- viewed respondents from 100 large mining companies for Inmar- sat's 'The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017' report, finding 47% of organisations identified monitoring environmental changes as their number one priority for IoT deployments. In addition, 57% of re- spondents from the mining sector reported that the most exciting innovation brought by IoT to the world is improved environmental monitoring. Inmarsat Enterprise director of mining Joe Carr said, "Improving environmental monitoring is an area where mining operators clearly see real value in IoT. The increasing pressure from strict government regulations focused on mining's environmental impact is placing a heavy burden on businesses in the sector, so operators must em- brace innovative technologies if they are to comply and continue to operate efficiently and sustainably." Mining businesses have a duty of care over the lifetime of a mine to ensure that they minimise their impact on the environment and rehabilitate the land to its natural state. When this is done by man- ually-operated processes, it can be expensive and prone to error, with sub-optimal data collection and analysis. Inmarsat is working with several mining operators to achieve their corporate social responsibility objectives and comply with govern- ment regulations by deploying innovative monitoring solutions made up of connected networks of sensors and devices. These digital networks are able to deliver accurate, real-time in- sight and intelligence on a wide variety of data points to a cloud- based platform for analysis. For example, a network of sensors across a tailings dam can constantly gather data on the levels and integrity of the dam, avoiding the expense of sending a staff mem- ber out to gather a single data point and removing the possibility of human error, while enabling staff to react instantly if readings breach minimum or maximum safety levels. IoT can improve environmental monitoring Wood Mackenzie estimates that nickel demand in EV batteries will increase from to an estimated 220,000 tonnes in 2025. Demanding supply problem for nickel

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