The United States is not adequately planning the raw materials needed to fuel policy initiatives
Northern Dynasty, the company behind the controversial Pebble copper project in Alaska, has urged politicians, environmental activists and the public to heed concerns raised by the mining industry about a looming copper supply shortfall. .
Commenting on a recent report by S&P Global, titled “The Future of Copper: Will the Looming Supply Shortage Short-Cut the Energy Transition?”, the CEO of Northern Dynasty Ron Thiessen said the findings were consistent with comments and concerns previously raised by the company and other key companies and organizations in the mining industry.
“It is clear to us that the United States, and frankly the world, is not adequately planning to provide the raw materials needed to fuel policy initiatives. . . Expected copper supply cannot meet copper demand, although permitting and construction could be accelerated. Politicians, environmental activists and the general public should heed the stark conclusions raised in this report,” Thiessen noted.
The independent report and a corresponding webinar, both available on the S&P website, were written in response to the growing concern expressed by global authorities and governments about insufficient copper resources to support the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
In its report, S&P concludes that “unless a massive new supply [of copper] comes online in a timely manner, the goal of net zero emissions by 2050 will be short-circuited and remain out of reach” – a sentiment shared by Northern Dynasty.
The S&P report further indicates that the demand for copper, which is essential for electrification, is expected to double from the current 25 million metric tons per year to nearly 50 million metric tons per year by 2035 and even more. by 2050.
In its report, S&P assesses two potential scenarios: the “Rocky Road scenario” relies on fixed capacity utilization and recycling rates, resulting in a peak supply of 39 million metric tons per year; and the “high ambition scenario,” which assumes production increases due to mine production and capacity utilization, resulting in a peak supply of 47.3 million metric tons per year. In both scenarios, copper supply is insufficient to meet expected demand.
The S&P report warns that “[i]n the 21st century, copper scarcity could become a major destabilizing threat to international security. Projected annual deficits will put unprecedented pressure on supply chains. The challenges this poses are reminiscent of the oil rush of the 20th century, but may be accentuated by an even higher geographic concentration of copper resources and downstream industry to refine it into products.
Similar to other recent prognostics, S&P argues that the world will need to develop many new large copper mines – approximately three Tier 1 mines per year for the next 29 years – to have enough new copper to meet the lofty goals of net-zero carbon emissions.
“Pebble is the largest undeveloped copper deposit in the world and the proposed Pebble mine must be part of that solution, instead of being portrayed as part of the problem by ill-advised environmental activists who have no plan. credible to reach net-zero,” Thiessen added.
The final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Pebble project, released in 2020, describes a modern, environmentally friendly mine that can coexist with clean water and healthy fisheries, Northern Dynasty said. Company appeals negative US Army Corps of Engineers decision brief
In a Feb. 28 report titled “Economic Contribution Assessment of the Proposed Pebble Project to the US national and state economy,” the Pebble Mine Project was found to be capable of supporting thousands of well-paying jobs and billions of dollars in worth. economic activity, much of which would focus on Southwest Alaska, one of the most economically depressed regions of the United States.
“It would also help the United States reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers of copper and other metals,” Theissen said.