• 5 minutes Iran Says It Arrested 17 CIA Spies, Some Sentenced To Death
  • 9 minutes Will We Ever See 100$+ OIL?
  • 13 minutes Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Destroy their economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 36 mins Iran Loses $130,000,000 Oil Revenue Every Day They Continue Their Games . . . .Opportunity Lost . . . Will Never Get It Back. . . . . LOL .
  • 1 hour Oil Giant Saudi Arabia Is Set to Start First Wind-Power Plant
  • 1 hour How is E&P of Marginal Oil on the UKCS Similar to the Shale Oil Operations in the US?
  • 4 hours Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to ban natural gas in new homes
  • 3 hours So You Think We’re Reducing Fossil Fuel? — Think Again
  • 4 hours Shale Oil will it self destruct?
  • 7 hours Renewables provided only about 4% of total global energy needs in 2018
  • 11 hours First limpet mines . . . . now fly a drone at low altitude directly at U.S. Navy ship. Think Iran wanted it taken out ? Maybe ? YES
  • 6 hours EIA Reports Are Fraudulent : EIA Is Conspiring With Trump To Keep Oil Prices Low
  • 11 hours N.Y. Governor Signs Climate Bill
  • 1 day U.S. Administration Moves To End Asylum Protections For Central Americans
  • 10 hours Today in Energy
  • 7 hours Which is a better domain name for OAPEC?
Alt Text

As Diesel Dies, One Commodity Is Crashing

Platinum futures plunged to 14…

Alt Text

Peak Lithium Won’t Happen Anytime Soon

Peak lithium is not happening…

Alt Text

Vanadium Spikes On New Chinese Regulations

A new regulatory measure in…

MINING.com

MINING.com

MINING.com is a web-based global mining publication focusing on news and commentary about mining and mineral exploration. The site is a one-stop-shop for mining industry…

More Info

Premium Content

World’s Biggest Miner Prepares For The EV Boom

World number one mining company BHP (ASX, NYSE: BHP) (LON:BLT) said 2017 will go down in history as the year when key changes took place in the electric cars market, making them more accessible to customers and so boosting demand for commodities from copper to nickel.

“I think if we look back in a few years we would call 2017 the tipping point of electric vehicles,” Arnoud Balhuizen, head of marketing at BHP, said at a Reuters event held in Singapore.

BHP recently revealed plans to transform itself into the world’s biggest suppliers of nickel sulphate — a key component in lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars.

The company is spending $43 million on a plant in Australia that will generate 100,000 tonnes of sulphate per year and which is expected to begin production by April 2019.

Currently, electric cars add up to roughly 1 million, out of a global fleet of closer to 1.1 billion. But BHP believes that figure could rise to 140 million electric vehicles, or 8 percent of the global fleet, by 2035.

“The reality is a mid-sized electric vehicle still needs subsidies to compete… so a lot will depend on batteries, on policy, on infrastructure,” Balhuizen said. Related: Is It Time For OPEC To Turn The Taps Back On?

Based on the company’s forecasts the looming electric vehicle boom will be evident first in the copper market, with supply struggling to meet increased demand due to hardly any new discoveries in the last two decades.

Producers, Balhuizen noted, may have underestimated the impact on copper demand of what would be a dramatic change, given fully electric vehicles require four times more of the red metal than cars which run on combustion engines.

“The expectation is that the next generation of electric vehicles that will have even more automation will require even more copper,” he said.

Electric cars add up to roughly 1 million, out of a global fleet of closer to 1.1 billion – but BHP forecasts that could rise to 140 million vehicles by 2035.

BHP, already the world's second-biggest listed copper miner, has been taken steps towards increasing it presence in the market as of late. In July, the company said it would spend $2.5 billion to extend the life of its Spence mine in northern Chile by more than 50 years.

That announcement followed the mining giant’s decision last year of raising its annual exploration spending by 29 percent, allocating nearly all its $900 million budget to finding new copper deposits, to add to a strong portfolio that includes assets such as Escondida in Chile, the world’s biggest copper mine, and Olympic Dam in Australia.

For oil, though, the impact of the electric car boom won’t come until later, after 20 years, due to demand growth in developing countries.

The “China effect”

China's efforts to build a new Silk Road are another major factor influencing demand for metals in the near term, according to BHP. The country's ambitious "One Belt, One Road" initiative could result in additional steel demand of 150 million tones, Balhuizen wrote in a blog post published Tuesday.

China's president Xii Jinping unveiled in March 2015 a plan to revive the ancient trade rout and tie China closer to over 68 regions and countries in Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Related: In A Bold Move, Saudis Raise Crude Prices For Asia

The “One Belt, One Road” initiative (BRI) is expected to boost demand for raw materials, particularly copper, iron ore, nickel and steelmaking coal.

BHP looked at 400 core projects that will require $1.3 trillion of spending under Xi's plan, and estimated their steel use. Those projects could lead to an additional 15 million tonnes per year of steel, an additional 3 to 4 per cent demand growth, it said. That will be met by Chinese steel mills as only 10 of the 68 countries covered by the BRI are net steel exporters, BHP said.

"We don't think China's steel [demand] has peaked, this will support some of that," Balhuizen concluded.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: BHP's blog.

By Mining.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play