A wind plant requires nine times more minerals than a gas-fired plant and an ordinary electric vehicle requires six times the mineral inputs needed to build an ordinary conventional car, according to Hennecke.
“In terms of lithium, the largest consumers are now electric vehicles and battery storage applications,” he said. “It is expected that these applications will also be the largest consumer of nickel within less than 20 years.”
With Africa representing the primary source of the critical minerals required to power the energy transition, achieving low-cost production within the mining industry is vital for the continent to become globally competitive, Hennecke states.
Africa needs to accelerate the use of low-cost technologies across the entire mining value chain while maximizing energy efficiency and the production of critical minerals such as lithium and copper – which are on demand – to fully grasp opportunities associated with the energy transition and decarbonization of various sectors including transportation.
He also emphasize the need for Africa to increase focus on digital technologies to simplify operations across various mining phases such as loading, hauling, crushing and milling to optimize productivity and ensure a sustainable mining industry.