Australian mining giant BHP expects the global demand for copper and nickel to double in the medium term and increase four times by 2050.
Ragnar Udd, head of mining operations in the Americas said during the CRU World Copper Conference in Chile that carbon-neutrality goals and enhanced EV production worldwide would aid the growth of both the metals.
Udd iterated that BHP has revised its internal nickel growth from EVs for 2021 upwards, following favorable government policies regarding rapid adoption from petrol vehicles to electric ones. He added that the Paris-aligned emissions reduction targets have also played a role in influencing countries to set carbon-neutrality goals.
BHP has been adapting sustainable operations in Chile since 2019 Udd noted. The mines have transitioned to using desalinated water from the traditional underground water through a financial commitment of $4bn.
BHP owns and operates some of the richest copper resources in Chile, according to Udd, and aims to displace nearly 3mn mt of carbon emissions annually. The company’s partially owned Escondida mine produced 1.19mn mt of copper in 2020, according to the Chilean Copper Commission Cochilco. The commission has increased its annual copper price guidance for 2021 to $3.30/lb.