Green Technologies Need Metals and Minerals

July 30, 2023

Without metals and minerals from mining, green technologies would be largely impossible to develop. Mining provides the essential raw materials necessary to advance and implement technologies aimed at lowering carbon emissions, reducing greenhouse gasses, conserving resources, and promoting sustainability. 

Rare Earth Elements

Mining is essential for extracting rare earth elements, which are crucial components in many green technologies. REEs are used in the manufacturing of wind turbines, electric vehicle batteries, energy-efficient lighting, and various other renewable energy technologies.

Eco-Friendly Silver:

As the world adopts more renewable technologies, one standout metal is silver. 

  • With the highest electrical conductivity of all metals, silver is ideal for use in solar cells
  • Silver's conductivity and corrosion resistance is critical in electronics
  • Silver is used in nearly every electrical connection in an electric vehicle
  • The automotive sector uses more than 55 million ounces of silver annually for various automotive electronics and to improve conductivity (Source: Virtual Capitalist)

Did you know? Alaska is home to Greens Creek, the largest silver mine in the United States?

Lithium and Battery Minerals

Mining operations extract lithium, graphite, and other minerals used in the production of rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. These technologies help reduce the dependencies on fossil fuels, thus contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Copper and Renewable Energy Infrastructure

Copper is a key component in renewable energy infrastructure, including solar panels, wind turbines, and electrical grids. Mining provides the necessary supply of copper to support the expansion of these technologies.

Raw Materials and Energy Efficiency

Mining provides the raw materials used in energy-efficient technologies such as LED lighting, smart appliances, and advanced insulation materials. These technologies help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Geothermal Energy Resources

Geothermal energy, a renewable energy source, relies on the extraction of heat from the Earth’s crust. Geothermal resources are used for electricity generation and heating purposes. 

Carbon Capture and Storage

Mining is instrumental in sourcing materials such as zeolites and other minerals used in carbon capture and storage technologies. These technologies capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes and power plants, reducing overall carbon footprints.