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Metals for energy transition: international pricing & top producers

(Ref. for pricing: tradingeconomics.com - access: Jan-2023)

(Ref. for top producers: pubs.usgs.gov/periodicals/mcs2023 - access: Jan-2023)

  • Base metals

    • Copper: USD 9,000/ton - top producers of contained Cu: Chile, Peru, DRC, China

      • Facts: conducts both heat & electricity very well

    • Nickel: USD 26,000/ton - top producers of contained NiIndonesia, Philippines, Russia, New Caledonia

      • Facts: 68% are used in stainless steel.  Used in geothermal power plants, EVs, battery cathodes

    • Lead: USD 2,870/ton - top producers of contained PbChina, Australia, U.S., Mexico

      • Facts: Lead–acid batteries

    • Steel: USD 606/ton - top producers of pig IronChina, India, Japan, U.S.

      • Iron ore: USD 130/ton (Australia, Brazil, China, India)

        • Facts: 98% of iron ore goes into steel-making

    • Zinc: USD 3,100/ton - top producers of contained ZnChina, Peru, Australia, U.S.

      • Facts: Galvanizing, wind power

  ​

  • Battery metals

    • Lithium (Li2CO3): USD 70,000/ton - top producers of contained LiAustralia, Chile, China, Argentina

      • Facts: Cell phone, laptop, EV, and stationary batteries​

    • Cobalt: USD 38,920/ton - top producers of contained CoDRC, Russia, Australia, Philippines

      • Facts: Battery cathode​s

    • Graphite: USD 2,281/ton - top producers of natural CChina, Mozambique, Madagascar, Brazil

      • Facts: Battery anodes

    • Manganese: USD 10,000/ton - top producers of Mn: South Africa, Gabon, Australia, China

      • Facts: Ferroalloys, batteries

  

  • Critical metals

    • Rare earths oxides: top producers of rare-earth-oxide (REO) equivalent: China, U.S., Australia, Burma

      • Neodymium USD 144,000/ton

        • Facts: Permanent magnets for electric motors of wind power & EVs

  

  • Rare metals

    • Gold: USD 1,860/ounce - top producers of contained Au: China, Australia, Russia, Canada

      • Facts: Jewelry (47%), physical bars (17%), electrical & electronics (connectors, contacts) (6%)

    • Silver: USD 22/ounce - top producers of contained Ag: Mexico, China, Peru, Australia

      • Facts: World’s best conductor, used in electronics, solar panels etc.  Around 10% of global silver use is for solar PV (cost of silver accounts for 10% of the PV module mfg. cost)

    • Platinum: USD 940/ounce - top producers of contained Pd: South Africa, Russia, Zimbabwe

      • Facts: PEM Electrolyzers

    • Palladium: USD 1,700/ounce - top producers of contained Pt: South Africa, Russia, Canada

      • Facts: Catalytic converters for vehicles, solar panels

Metals for energy transition – demand by cleantech asset

Figure 1 shows metals demand for cleantech assets.

Figure 1: Metal demand for cleantech asset

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Fig 1 princing metal
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