Canada invests CAN$2mn in Corem expertise centre
This investment is part of Canada’s wider commitment to developing cleaner mining technologies, and driving the national economy by growing the country’s natural resources industry.
The Quebec Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has also given $CAN100,000 (£58,000) to fund Corem’s research into mining technologies. This funding is intended to continue exploration of an innovative process for extracting gold, which involves the recovery and recycling of the cyanide used in gold extraction. The eventual implementation of this process into commercial mining would reduce the impact of gold mining on the aquatic system.
Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board of Canada and a member of parliament for Quebec, commented that Corem has the potential to benefit the people of Quebec in many ways: “The government of Canada continues to invest in projects that position Canada’s mining industry as a leader on the global stage. Through innovative ideas and dedicated partners such as Corem, which has been a presence in the Quebec region for more than 20 years, we are helping to reduce impacts on the environment, create jobs and ensure good mining practices in Quebec for years to come.”
Battery-powered future depends on a few crucial metals
In the big, exciting future that’s measured in kilowatt- and gigawatt-hours, batteries are enabling mass electrification across many sectors. The rapid decline in battery prices has ensured burgeoning interest from electric-vehicle makers and consumer-electronics manufacturers- even from the energy industry, for enormous stationary storage systems operating on the power grid.
Companies such as QuantumScape Corp. are developing next-generation batteries that could accelerate the transition. The field is so competitive that the industry is shrouded in secrecy, but the market still values the company at more than $16bn despite no promise of real revenue for many years to come.
It will be years before any battery breakthroughs reach the mass market. But it’s already virtually certain that rising demand for existing lithium-ion batteries will be exponential and can be matched by manufacturers only if the materials used to make batteries - primarily lithium, cobalt , and nickel - are also supplied adequately. These curves will become steeper in the decade ahead. Take a look at the charts below that show where things are headed.
Electrification has become a key theme for automakers in the US and Europe. While it was barely mentioned a decade ago, company executives are increasingly talking up batteries and electric vehicles to investors.
The rapid decline of battery costs over the past decade has surprised even the most optimistic analysts. That has played a crucial role in opening up new markets for batteries to find applications.
Electric cars will be the biggest force behind the boom in demand for batteries this decade. But batteries will also increasingly be used for smaller vehicles like scooters, commercial vehicles and to store electricity from the grid.
The decline in battery prices have helped grow the investment case for storing electricity. Companies and financial firms are now investing over $100 billion a year on energy storage and the electrification of transportation.
All the energy stored in a growing number of batteries will require a significant increase in a few key metals, lithium, cobalt and nickel.
(By Will Mathis and Akshat Rathi)