Implications of EV Mandates on Mining
A recent study by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think-tank, reveals that to fulfill international government mandates for electric vehicles (EVs), it is necessary to establish 388 new mines. This requirement is to procure essential metals like nickel and lithium for EV production. The study raises critical concerns about the feasibility of government-imposed timelines for the EV transition.
Current Mining Landscape and Future Needs
As of 2021, the United States operates 270 metal mines, with Canada operating 70. To meet the EV demands, the total number of new mines needed surpasses the current operational mines in these two countries. This situation underscores the extensive scale of mining required for the EV transition.
Challenges in Meeting EV Production Deadlines
Considering the lengthy processes involved in establishing mining and refining projects, including regulatory compliance and actual development, the study points out potential challenges in meeting EV production deadlines. For instance, lithium production can take 6-9 years, and nickel production 13-18 years. These timelines suggest that the Canadian federal mandate for all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035, which is roughly 11 years away, might be challenging to achieve.
Concerns Over Mineral and Metal Production
The study by the Fraser Institute highlights the significant risk of inadequate mineral and metal production, which could jeopardize the practicality of government-mandated EV transition plans. This revelation calls for a reevaluation of EV mandates and timelines, considering the current capabilities and constraints of the mining industry.
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