Global need for copper, nickel will multiply over next 30 years -BHP

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Nov 17 (Reuters) – The global markets will need four times the nickel and double the copper in the next 30 years to facilitate a decarbonised world, a BHP Group executive said on Wednesday.

“Some of the modelling that we have done showed that in, let’s say a decarbonised world … the world will need almost double the copper in the next 30 years than in the past 30,” said Vandita Pant, BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, at the FT Commodities Asia Summit.

“And for a commodity like nickel, that quadruples. So four times nickel needed for the next 30 years than the past 30 years and all to be done as sustainably as possible,” Pant added.

Both nickel and copper are poised for strong consumption as a result of the transition away from fossil fuels. Nickel is used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries while copper is needed for wiring in the EVs, their charging stations and other renewable energy infrastructure.

On Tuesday, Trafigura’s chief executive warned of possible significant deficits for copper, nickel and cobalt as global demand rises.

Traceability and sustainability will be some of the main requirements from clients from now on, BHP’s Pant said, adding that the company has done a blockchain traceability programme with Tesla to track carbon emissions of its Western Australian nickel mine asset.

BHP also recently conducted its first carbon-neutral copper cargo, from Chile to the United States, she said, adding that is “the way to go.”

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