Glencore signs global satellite agreement with Tre-Altamira
Glencore has signed a global agreement with Tre-Altamira to expand satellite monitoring to over 110 of its dams worldwide - reportedly the largest industry monitoring agreement to date specifically focusing on Tailings Storage Monitoring.
The monitoring provides measurements of surface movements every 11 days which is the current maximum available frequency for this type of data collection.
By taking measurements from both ascending and descending satellite orbit directions, Glencore will be able to resolve any measured movement on its TSFs into both horizontal and vertical components. The typical resolution on the ground is 3m x 3m with detectable movement resolution in the order of a few millimetres.
Measurement data will be provided via a cloud based platform which will ensure continuous provision of information. Results of the monitoring will also be used to support stakeholder engagement and demonstrate the ongoing safe performance of its dams.
While the main focus of the satellite monitoring program will be its Tailings Dams, the data will also be used at some sites to supplement other terrestrial monitoring techniques which will include open pits, waste piles and areas prone to subsidence.
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)