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Copper Finally Secures Critical Minerals Status

Copper, a metal vital to the green energy transition, is now a critical mineral according to the US government.

Copper had been absent from the US Department of Energy’s Critical Mineral list, despite being necessary for the rollout of renewable energy infrastructure and cables needed to take electricity from hubs to homes and businesses.

The addition came this week when the US DOE released its new critical minerals strategy paper.

The list of declared critical minerals on the US government list includes aluminium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, electrical steel, fluorine, gallium, iridium, lithium, magnesium, natural graphite, neodymium, nickel, platinum, praseodymium, terbium, silicon, and silicon carbide.

A number of governments and NGOs around the world have recently released critical minerals whitepapers, as the world must rapidly move to decarbonise in the next few decades, with the 2020s being crucial.

Copper supply is a deep concern for many analysts, with more cooper production needed to keep up with the massive transition underway.

As our nation continues the transition to a clean energy economy, it is our responsibility to anticipate critical material supply chains needed to manufacture our most promising clean energy generation, transmission, storage and end-use technologies, including solar panels, wind turbines, power electronics, lighting, and electric vehicles,” Alejandro Moreno, Acting Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said in the statement.

“Copper is a major contributor to U.S. economic and national security, and with copper demand projections doubling by 2035, primarily due to plans for the clean energy transition, electrification and clean water infrastructure. The nation would be defenceless without electricity and copper’s vital role in its generation, transmission, and distribution,” Copper Development Association (CDA) Andrew G. Kireta, Jr. told the media. 

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