Modern Mining February 2023
VANADIUM: BUSHVELD MINERALS
The phrases ‘just energy transition’, ‘green energy transition’ and ‘clean energy transition’ are frequently used. Despite their popu larity, confusion remains as to what the energy transition truly means. At its core, the term refers to the shift from fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas and coal, to renewable energy sources like wind and solar to fulfil global energy demand. A case for vanadium in the energy transition By Fortune Mojapelo, CEO Bushveld Minerals
W ithin this shift are multiple undercurrents. One is the electrification of everything, where electricity becomes the energy car rier used to power everything from industry to mobility to information. As a result, electricity’s share of global energy demand will double over the next 20 years to approximately 45%. For context, in 1980, it was just 10%. Electricity’s major technical limi tation is the difficulty in storing it. Consequently, the more widespread the usage of electricity, the greater the need for various methods to store it, from small batteries in electronics to larger ones in cars to mas sive schemes using gravity and water dams. Electric vehicles (EV) replacing internal com bustion engine cars (ICE) is one example of electrification of mobility. According to Canalys,
Fortune Mojapelo, CEO Bushveld Minerals.
sales of EVs are rising rapidly and expected to equal ICEs by 2030, when 35 million new EVs will be sold each year globally. According to the International Energy Agency, an EV requires six times the mineral inputs of a comparable ICE. To meet this demand, nearly 400 new mines for battery metals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and cobalt will be needed by 2035 according to Benchmark Minerals. And EVs are just a subset of mobility applications, that include shipping, rail, air, etc. Methods to produce electricity are also changing
Bushveld Minerals Vametco plant.
14 MODERN MINING February 2023
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