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The EV revolution will take batteries, but are they ethical?

Up-and-coming IRMA positions itself as the most rigorous third-party mining standard to emerge. . . Microsoft, Tiffany and Anglo American are already IRMA members; BMW is the first carmaker to sign up.

Adria Vasil, Corporate Knights

“. . .The EV revolution has been racking up a whole supply chain of trouble around the globe (including a recent lawsuit) related to an onslaught of often-contentious new mines opening to meet surging battery-metal demand, not to mention the coming tide of e-waste from old batteries.

If we want to fix this before e-cars take over the roads (30% of car sales should be electric across the EU and North America by 2030, analysts forecast), the time to ensure it’s done right is now. A handful of companies are trying to get out ahead of looming environmental and social risks. . .”

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Photo credit: Lithium mines in Chile, Open Commons.

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China, e-silk roads and a plea for change

The EV revolution is in its infancy, but it is gaining traction, and its minerals, whatever they are, will have to be mined responsibly.  

Author, John Harker

What if China, the EU, and North America co-operated to undertake a major survey of Responsible Mining and Rare-Earths? A survey in which major mining houses such as BHP, Glencore, and Anglo-American would have much to offer, especially as they are increasing or refining their own focus on “battery” minerals.

In fact, their involvement is key. They know the ups and downs in mining as the EV revolution unfolds. A year ago, Ivan Glasenberg, the CEO of Glencore, stressed that his company has “a key role to play in enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy”. This is true, but the company has seen its profits drop due in large part to its “battery minerals” business.

Anglo-American is the world’s largest supplier of platinum and palladium, which are essential to the smooth running of cars fueled by Petrol/Gas, and the company is now intent on developing a lithium battery which will use the platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel.

The great mining houses are among the companies which created the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, a body which would also be a source of strength for any such survey.

Read the full article on Mining.com >

Photo credit: Electric taxi in Shenzhen, China. (Image: Brücke-Osteuropa | Wikimedia Commons.)

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