- Josemaria Resource’s flagship copper-gold-silver mine is expected to generate an average annual production of 136,000 tonnes of copper, 231,000 ounces of gold and 1,164,000 ounces of silver over its 19-year life
- Copper is known for its varied industrial uses, particularly within renewable power generation sector
- A single wind turbine is said to utilize up to 4.7 tonnes of copper, while each MW of solar power energy employs over 5.5 tonnes of copper during installation
- Research suggests that global copper production will have to rise by 3-6% per annum over next ten years for countries to meet their targets under remits of Paris Agreement
Josemaria Resources (TSX: JOSE) (OTCQB: JOSMF), a Canadian natural resources company, has recently published a NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study for its flagship project, the wholly owned Josemaria Project located in Argentina’s San Juan Province (https://ibn.fm/rcN78). The study revealed that the mine was anticipated to generate an average annual production of 136,000 tonnes of copper, 231,000 ounces of gold and 1,164,000 ounces of silver over its 19-year life span. These figures paint a bullish picture – the mine’s copper production alone would be equivalent to nearly 1% of annual global supply—but an analysis into the dynamics underpinning current copper prices presents an even rosier outlook.
Copper is often said to be one of the most versatile metals, with uses varying from building tools to biology – in fact, humans are said to need 1.2 milligrams of copper daily to help enzymes transfer energy inside the body’s cells (https://ibn.fm/rNKeN). Most notably, due to its ductility and electrical and thermal conductivity, copper is most often utilized in the production of electrical conductors, switches, transformers and wiring (https://ibn.fm/lQw4g).
The global shift toward the electrification movement can be best visualized in The Paris Agreement—a global climate accord which has attracted 194 countries and the European Union, altogether representing approximately 79% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the intent of capping the global temperature rise this century (https://ibn.fm/ax2mT). In practice, the agreement has led to a surge in investment in electric vehicles and renewable energy sources, with China announcing on November 23, 2020 its plan to budget $910 million for renewable energy subsidies in 2021.
Copper has established itself as perhaps the most critical metal within the renewable energy complex. The generation of clean energy from solar and wind sources utilizes copper at a rate of four to six times greater relative to its usage within fossil fuel-powered electricity generation.
For instance, an average 3 megawatt (“MW”) wind turbine is said to contain up to 4.7 tons of copper, with 53% of that figure being used in the form of cable and wiring, 24% contained within the wind turbine and a further 19% within the turbine transformer (https://ibn.fm/J96aZ). Despite the industrial slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, global offshore wind investment touched a new high of $34.9 billion in the first half of 2020 – a figure which quadrupled the investment seen in the first half of 2019 and which sits well above the total for last year as a whole (https://ibn.fm/kptfC).
Solar energy farms have also been avid users of the metal, with a study finding that each MW of solar power utilized an average 5.5 tons of copper in the form of heat exchangers, wiring and cabling. In fact, a study carried out from Navigant Research forecast that over 1.9 billion pounds of copper would be consumed between 2018 and 2027 in North America alone, to build an estimated 262 GW of planned solar installations (https://ibn.fm/Ck9fO).
Meanwhile, new energy vehicles are not far behind in copper consumption. Lithium ion batteries, which power everything from mobile handsets to Tesla vehicles, contain an estimated 440 pounds of copper per MW. With Deloitte recently suggesting that battery-powered electric vehicles would account for approximately 32 percent of the total market share for new car sales by 2030 (https://ibn.fm/gVOcW), the forecasted demand for copper is clearly set to increase exponentially in coming years.
Copper has long been heralded for its close correlation to global economic growth – recent trends suggest it is also set to be a key beneficiary from the global shift towards renewable energy sources. With copper demand set to continue its stunning growth patterns in coming years – a study by Bernstein Research suggested that global copper production would have to rise by between 3 percent and 6 percent per annum to meet expected demand (https://ibn.fm/ESgB2) – Josemaria Resources may find that it is involved in the right metal, at exactly the right time.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.JosemariaResources.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to JOSMF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/JOSMF
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