The global market for critical and energy transition minerals, including cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper, has doubled in size over the past five years and is expected to continue expanding as the transition to clean energy technologies intensifies, according to a new report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The report entitled ‘Critical Minerals Market Review’ states that investments in the development of critical minerals increased by 30% to $320 billion in 2022 following a 20% increase in 2021.
Driving the increase in investments are efforts by global mining and energy companies to ensure the affordability and a speedy deployment of clean energy technologies such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels which have tripled the demand for lithium while cobalt demand increased by 70% and nickel’s demand by 40%.
While planned critical minerals projects continue to surge, the report emphasizes that they need to be implemented by 2030 for the world to achieve climate action and energy security targets.
“Major challenges remain. Much more needs to be done to ensure supply chains for critical minerals are secure and sustainable,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, highlighting the need for increased investments in research and development of cutting-edge mining technologies and improved cooperation between governments, companies and mining stakeholders.
The IEA report further states that there is a need for the world to diversify the supply of critical minerals, maximize environmental, social and governance practices in projects deployment while ensuring worker safety and gender inclusivity for continued progress of the critical minerals market.