In a bid to secure the supply of lithium and other raw materials necessary for meeting the increasing demand for clean energy solutions, the United States, Canada, and several other nations recently established the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) at the recently concluded Prospectors and Developers Association – Canada (PDAC) Convention held in Toronto.
Other signatory parties include the European Commission, Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
In a statement issued by the US State Department, the MSP was formed to ensure that minerals vital to the generation of clean energy would be produced, processed, and recycled in a specific way. They are supposed to support the abilities of individual nations to enjoy the full benefit of their geological resources when it comes to the further growth of their respective economies.
A Timely Development
The formation of the MSP comes at a most critical time when it comes to the global shift towards green energy. Even now, industry watchers have noted a substantial increase in the demand for key components for the production of electric vehicle batteries, and this is something they expect will grow exponentially within the next several years.
Consequently, a report from the World Bank predicts that the global production of lithium and other minerals like graphite and cobalt could grow by as much as 500% by 2050 in order to meet the increased demand for clean power-generating technology throughout the world.
The Partnership is also seen as a way by which signatory nations could reduce their reliance on China, presently the world’s largest supplier of processed lithium, as well as build their own domestic supply chains in order to secure an ample supply of raw materials for mass producing batteries for electric vehicles.
On their own, both the US and Canada have been working on ways by which they could augment the supply of key elements for clean energy production.
Last April, the Canadian government committed nearly US$ 2.9 billion of its national budget to boost the domestic production of lithium and other minerals crucial for the production of clean power solutions over the next eight years.
On the other hand, the US government invoked the Defense Production Act earlier this year in order to assist companies seeking government funding to test the feasibility of new initiatives for the extraction of lithium, nickel, and other key elements. It is the United States’ goal to ensure that over half of all domestic passenger vehicle and light vehicle sales by 2030 will be made up of zero-emission vehicles. In which case, augmented mining output will play a vital role.