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The demand for minerals will increase by nearly 500% by 2040




The demand for critical metals and minerals is increasing sharply as clean energy transitions gather pace. Substances such as copper, nickel, cobalt and graphite are essential components in many of today’s rapidly growing clean energy technologies – from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles.


A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that if the world is to meet net-zero as a global goal, the demand for minerals and metals will increase six times by 2040, compared to today’s needs. 


Can recycling be part of the solution? According to the IEA, recycling will reduce the need for primary minerals by about 10% by 2040. In other words, increased production of minerals and metals will be required over a long period of time.


To build a sustainable society, we need to speed up the shift towards a more sustainable mining industry that is emission-free, digital and automated. We at Epiroc accelerate this transformation.


Discover the mineral demand for clean energy technologies 2020 compared to 2040
Total mineral demand for clean energy technologies in

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Solar PV
Other low carbon power generation
EVs and battery storage
Electric network

Clean energy technologies vs. fossil fuel-based alternatives

Clean energy technologies require more minerals than fossil fuel-based alternatives. The types of mineral resources used vary by technology. Lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite are crucial to battery performance, longevity and energy density. Rare earth elements are essential for permanent magnets that are vital for wind turbines and EV motors. Electricity networks need a huge amount of copper and aluminium, with copper being a cornerstone for all electricity-related technologies.

Minerals used in conventional cars compared to electric cars

Source: IEA

Minerals used in natural gas compared to offshore wind

Source: IEA

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