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Briefing

4 Sep 2019

Transition Minerals: Sector Case Studies

An excavator works at an opencast manganese ore mine in Ukraine

The Wind Energy, Electric Vehicle and Solar Panel sectors are three prominent consumers of minerals which are vital to the global transition to low-carbon economies. It is vital that this transition does not come at the cost of the rights of those most at risk to abuse by companies in these supply chains.

In tandem with our 2019 launch of the Transition Mineral Tracker, we explored these key sectors and produced three case studies which outline the minerals which are vital in each sector, the risks entailed and several examples of community impacts. You can read each of the case studies via the links below.

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Solar Panels

Solar photovoltaic (PV) power is the flag-bearer of renewable energy, and a rapid fall in technology costs combined with increased investor interest lead the World Bank to estimate a 300% rise in demand for key minerals used in PV panels under a 2 degree climate scenario.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines rely on a number of critical minerals, including cobalt, copper, manganese and nickel, among others. As many of these minerals currently have limited recycling possibilities, new mining projects will be needed to meet the increasing demand of wind power developers worldwide.

Electric Vehicles

The success of the electric vehicle revolution will depend on the performance of EV batteries, but the mining of some of their constituent minerals has attracted international attention following reports of child labour in cobalt mines and abuses of indigenous rights around lithium mining projects.