Copper’s Critical Role in Energy Technologies

Posted on February 05, 2019 by Minerals Make Life

The electric vehicle revolution is impacting various sectors of the U.S. economy – including mining. A recent Reuters article reported that demand for electric vehicles has led to $1.1 billion in investments in U.S. copper deposits. Known for its electrical conductivity and high flexibility, copper has become an essential component of electric vehicles. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, our nation is blessed with the world’s fifth-largest copper reserves.

U.S. investment in copper is growing due to other alternative energy-related projects, as well. While about 183 lbs. of copper goes into an electric vehicle, 3.5 tons of the metal is used in a single wind turbine, according to a piece from Mining.com. Copper is also key to solar power – an energy source that is expected to expand rapidly in the next 10 years.

As the demand for electric vehicles and other energy forms increases, the need for domestic supplies of minerals like copper will skyrocket. To ensure that we are able to keep up with the electric vehicle revolution, it’s imperative that mine permitting reform becomes a top priority for our decisionmakers. Due to redundancies within our mine permitting, it can take anywhere from seven to 10 years to obtain a mine permit in the U.S. today.

Through simple, commonsense reforms, the U.S. can fortify itself as a global leader in innovation, supplying the mineral resources that power the production of alternative energies like electric vehicles. With the help of minerals like copper, we can help advance these technologies – an important part of our future – creating jobs, generating economic growth and furthering sustainability.

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