BNamericas – Electric Vehicles to Boost Demand for Minerals

By Companhia Bahia de Pesquisa Mineral

This is an automatic translation of the press release originally published in Portuguese

The recent announcement of the installation of three factories in Bahia, by the world’s largest electric car manufacturer, BYD Auto, has repercussions in several segments of the state, including the mining sector. The company, which aims to accelerate the green transition of the global transport sector, focuses on the development of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. As a result, since BYD will prioritize contracting with companies established in Bahia, including for the acquisition of inputs, it is expected that there will be an increase in demand for various types of minerals in the State, as is the case, for example, of nickel, iron, copper and lithium, the latter not yet being produced in Bahia, but with potential in the region of Itambe.

The units that will be installed in the state will produce chassis for electric buses and trucks and electric and hybrid passenger vehicles and will process lithium and iron phosphate, for the production of batteries, according to the protocol of intentions signed at the end of October between BYD do Brasil, a subsidiary of the Chinese company in the country, and the state of Bahia. The world’s largest electric car maker is expected to invest 3 billion reais to set up the three factories in Bahia, generating 1,200 direct jobs during the implementation period alone.

For the president of Companhia Bahia de Pesquisa Mineral (CBPM), Antonio Carlos Tramm, this protocol of intentions is very important for mining in Bahia, because it should encourage and accelerate mining research work. “Bahia is already one of the best-studied geological states in Brazil. Over the past 50 years CBPM has worked to constantly improve the geological information we have about our state and in recent years we have invested in using the most modern mineral research, such as the last aerogeophysical survey carried out in the first half of this year, in the north of the State, and the letters of anomalies, of the area of ​​the East-West Integration Railway (FIOL), which was a work developed in collaboration with the Geological Service of Brazil (SGB), our partner in several projects, and which will be released next Thursday (17)”, announced Tramm.

Investment in research

Investment in mineral research in Bahia is already a reality in the state, which is the third largest mineral producer in the country and produces 47 types of mineral substances. Data from the National Mining Agency (ANM) shows that over the past five years (2017 to 2021), Bahia has been the state that has invested the most in mining research. In total, there have been more than 1.5 billion reais (including public and private investments), which has been reflected in the growing results achieved by the sector in recent years.

State-led research and the importance of Bahia in the production of essential minerals for the transition of the energy matrix was highlighted by the President of IBRAM (Brazilian Institute of Mining), Raul Jungmann, during the II Forum on Innovation and Sustainability in Mining, held this year in Salvador. “The future of decarbonization goes through Bahia. We must expand, recognize the role, the importance of mineral research and, in this sense, I would like to congratulate Bahia and, in particular, the CBPM. Bahia is today the national champion of mineral research. One in three reais invested in research is here in Bahia,” Jungmann pointed out.

Among the minerals essential to the transition of the energy matrix and consequently to the production of electric cars and their batteries, Bahia comes first as the main producer of nickel in the country, and the only producer of sulphide nickel, used for the production batteries; the country’s only producer of vanadium, also used in the production of batteries, in addition to being the country’s third largest producer of copper, an essential raw material for the production of electric cars.

According to the main consultant of CRU (company specializing in economic intelligence for mining, metallurgical and fertilizer companies), Francisco Acuñ, copper has a significant impact on the production of electric cars. “Hybrid car engines contain around 20 kilos of copper in their structure. In the 100% electric, the amount of material used can correspond to 80 kilos. Copper is an important raw material for the manufacture of electric car engines and I believe that in the future Brazil will also have to follow this trend in the global automotive industry,” said Acuña, during a panel on strategic minerals held during the last Exposibram.

Copper production is already one of the strengths of the state and is expected to see great progress in the coming years. Last Monday (07), Ero Copper announced a 31% increase in mineral reserves in Caraíba. With this, a steady growth in copper production is expected from 45.3 thousand tonnes in 2023 to 59.4 thousand tonnes of copper by 2036 and a current mine life of 20 years.

FIOL Anomaly Cards

To deepen the state’s geological knowledge, CBPM, in partnership with the Geological Service of Brazil (SGB), will launch next Thursday (17), starting at 9:30 a.m., in the CBPM auditorium (located in the CAB), at FIOL Anomaly Maps, produced with the integration of geological, geophysical and geochemical data.

A total of 15 Letters aim to encourage mining research in the country, allowing the preliminary assessment of the sectors most likely to prospect for the mineral substance of interest and encouraging new investments from the private sector.

CBPM Mining Price

To value and recognize Bahian mining, as well as its sustainable actions, CBPM has created the CBPM Mining Award, which will elect the company and personality of 2022 in the Bahian mining industry. The choice is made by vote throughout the month of November on the CBPM website (www.cbpm.ba.gov.br). It should be mentioned that the awards are different and the choice of the personality of the year is not done with the mining company (so one company and the personality of another can be chosen, if the voters decide) . The announcement of the results and the award ceremony will take place in December, especially when the CBPM will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

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