Industries around the world heavily depend on mining. Metals such as aluminum, copper, and iron ore are essential ingredients in products we use every day—from automobiles to washing machines. And though demand for these metals had been growing steadily for years, the outbreak of COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through global supply chains and caused unpredictable swings in demand.
Perhaps one of the greatest reasons for market movement comes down to the demand for green products and electric vehicles. As countries around the world begin to pledge carbon neutrality, demand for products that don’t rely on fossil fuels is spiking. Electric vehicles are one such product, and the metals used to create their batteries—lithium and cobalt—have seen a corresponding uptick in demand. But as with any new technology, there are challenges to be met before electric vehicles can become the new norm. Batteries are expensive, and infrastructure to support large-scale electric vehicle usage is still in development.
Nickel and copper are also heavily required to fuel our electronics industry. The rise of 5G technology means an even greater demand for these metals as more and more devices are connected. But again, the global pandemic has caused markets to fluctuate, with demand for some electronics dropping as people work from home and take a greater focus on mobile work tools. A shortage in the electronics market is also being shaped by a scarcity of these resources.
The mining and metals industry is complex, and predicting future trends is difficult. But one thing is certain—the next few years will be full of change and challenges as the world adapts to a new reality. Mining companies will need to make changes in order to keep up and in order to ensure they can meet these future demands head-on.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best Portable Substation in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.