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Mining for Renewables? From Lithium Mining to Sustainable Energy

Updated: May 29, 2023

The demand for Lithium and other critical minerals is ever-growing as humanity seeks a global energy transition away from fossil fuels.

Linked to renewables and batteries Lithium (and critical minerals such as Nickel & Copper) are experiencing unprecedented demand, with Lithium exports from Australia expected to increase to $19B this financial year from $5B in FY 21/22 and remain high for the foreseeable future.

Why Is Lithium In Such High Demand?

Lithium and other critical minerals are an essential resource in today’s modern world. As a key component in batteries used in energy storage systems, electric vehicles, appliances, handheld power tools, mobile phones and laptops, they are required to overcome the limitations of intermittent renewable energy production, by providing energy storage. Thus permitting humans to transition away from the combustion of fossil fuels, by enabling us to use stored renewable electricity where and when we need it.

Australia is at the forefront of lithium mining and provides a staggering 46% of the globe’s current supply, with 99% coming from Western Australia. However, for the world to complete its energy transition substantially more Lithium is forecast to be required. For example Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers currently make-up 9% of the lithium market, but EV production is expected to increase four-fold in 2023 .

Finding A Sustainable Solution

Whilst Australia is becoming an increasingly important miner of Lithium and other critical minerals, it traditionally sends them offshore for processing. China is already a large producer of many of these materials and dominates the refining processes needed to make them useful.

As this sector grows Australia can potentially develop competitive mining and mineral processing and manufacturing capabilities (to compete with the likes of China), that enable growing global demand to be met with responsibly mined products, but that also increasingly permit the use of recovered materials (e.g. Lithium-ion batteries are 90% recoverable, but are only recycled in Australia at a rate of under 10%).

Perspektiv are working with miners of Lithium and critical minerals to ensure their products and their organisations are as sustainable as they can be, and make the most of their opportunity to contribute to the global energy transition, whilst driving a myriad of other environmental, social and governance (ESG) co-benefits for their stakeholders and investors.

As a Certified B Corp, and a Carbon Neutral Organisation providing a Carbon Neutral Service we would like to hear from you, and explore how together we can find a better way.


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