The green energy transition will be exceedingly mineral intensive. Manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries to power cleaner energies is set to significantly increase the demand for so-called “critical” minerals. Such a forecast prompts high expectations in mineral-rich countries and suggests promising opportunities for developing countries.
However, the projects to increase the primary extraction of critical minerals rest on bullish forecasts and uncertain terrain due to a number of factors explored in the paper that threaten to leave these investments obsolete and economically stranded.
Governments, international actors, and mining advocates seeking to optimize the value of green energy mineral reserve should heed caution when pursuing and promoting the mining of critical minerals. We provide specific recommendations in the paper.
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