BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) annual global lithium-ion battery supply chain report has named Canada the second-best lithium-ion battery-producing country worldwide, reflecting largely on its sizeable raw material resources and mining activity.
According to the report, Canada’s exceptional positioning on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in addition to its infrastructure, innovation and industry has helped it rise in this year’s rankings from fifth place in 2021.
However, Canada’s lack of significant cell and component manufacturing means that most of the value of these minerals and metals will be realized outside of the country, despite several recent announcements from domestic automakers to increase battery investments.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in many applications, including portable consumer electronics and electric vehicles. They are currently the most popular rechargeable battery on today’s market because of their high energy density and storage capabilities.
Top 15 Global Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain Rankings 2022
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
According to lead author BNEF Metals and Mining Analyst Allan Ray Restauro, several critical factors comprise the overall rankings, which are becoming increasingly complex.
“This year, the changes in the overall rankings were mostly driven by the greater access to several key raw materials and manufacturing capacities domestically. Countries that are not necessarily the largest producers or manufacturers but have significant presence across several areas in battery metals and minerals extraction, as well as manufacturing, fared better than countries that excel mostly in a single commodity or component,” Restauro explained via reporting by BNEF.
“Success in the battery supply chain is increasingly determined by more than one category or metric. A solid foundation on domestically realized resource wealth, bolstered by responsible and ethical production, is the main theme of the rankings this year as countries and the industry strive for a sustainable supply chain.”
Global Mineral Supply & Demand
BNEF’s annual lithium-ion battery supply chain report ranks 30 leading countries on 45 metrics across five key themes:
- Availability and supply of key raw materials (Canada #3)
- Local demand for electric vehicles and energy storage (Canada #10)
- Manufacturing of battery cells and components (Canada #8)
- Infrastructure, innovation and industry (Canada #4)
- Environmental, social and governance factors (Canada #6)
Canada scored exceptionally well in almost all categories, as seen above in the chart.
Canada is home to a vast wealth of minerals and metals - including many materials used in energy tech such as electric vehicle batteries - which should be developed for the benefit of Canadian families and governments, and for resource security.
Why so, you might ask? Consider the following.
China currently dominates the extraction and production of several critical materials needed to manufacture clean energy tech. According to the International Energy Agency, the country accounts for more than 60% of rare earth mineral extraction and more than 40% of processing for rare earths, lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper .
In other words, the world relies on China for most of its renewable energy materials. Is that such a good idea, given what has happened over the past year in Europe?
Canada’s Battery Potential
As the world looks towards wind, solar and other renewable energies to lower carbon emissions, ensuring access to these critical materials should also take precedence in the minds of western policymakers - like it has for energy. That means finding new stable, responsible and reliable sources of supply for the cobalt, lithium, nickel, copper and other minerals necessary to manufacture wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles.
Canada, home to one of the most sustainable mining sectors worldwide, is ideal for developing new mines. In addition, Canada’s battery supply chain prowess is only growing, with $15 billion of investment recently announced in everything from mineral and metal production to battery component manufacturing.
Our country has the opportunity of a lifetime: to become a go-to source for the critical minerals and metals the world needs. Hopefully, with continued support from both provincial and federal governments, we can expedite the development of these essential projects and start reaping the economic benefits. Doing so would, of course, also ensure that these materials are produced under one of the most environmentally conscious mining regulatory systems worldwide.
Canadian mining families are world-class. Let’s support them as they support our society with the materials needed to produce almost everything we use.
The world needs more responsibly produced Canadian minerals and metals -- so let’s get to it!
The northwestern Ontario community of Wawa is enjoying growth in the natural resource sector and workers are needed throughout the scenic area. https://t.co/XP7AvaoTM6— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) November 28, 2022
1 – International Energy Agency - The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions, Date Accessed: November 2022 (https://www.iea.org/reports/the-role-of-critical-minerals-in-clean-energy-transitions)
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