11 June 2024

Critical Minerals Projections

The Global Critical Minerals Outlook 2024, the second annual review from the International Energy Agency, offers medium- and long-term projections for lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper and graphite. Despite volatile prices, demand for these minerals will keep rising. In the conservative IEA scenario, clean energy will double mineral demand in six years. Lithium demand is mainly driven by clean energy, while other minerals have diverse applications.

This scenario could lead to geopolitical conflict. Countries are starting to diversify supply chains, competing for suppliers and refiners, particularly to reduce reliance on China. The IEA estimates $590 billion in new capital investments are needed to meet future demand. However, financial backing is scarce due to high input costs and uncertain long-term pricing. Government intervention might incentivize projects, but approaches vary. Democratic governments tend to be more hands-off than authoritarian ones.

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