Colombia is working on decreasing its dependence on coal and oil by developing copper deposits in advance of a predicted increase in the demand for metals that are used in rechargeable batteries. The country’s authorities plan to grant five copper exploration blocks before the end of June in the La Guajira and Cordoba provinces, where the majority of the country’s coal is mined.
Diego Mesa, the country’s mines and energy minister, stated that in addition to companies that are already operating locally in the country, Canadian and United States juniors are interested in copper extraction in the country. Offered incentives include a smooth authorization process that cuts down on the path to production.
In an interview conducted last week, the minister stated that Colombia could possibly become one of the primary producers of copper and gold, adding that it was common knowledge that the copper belt began in Chile before continuing through Peru and ending in Panama. Mesa also revealed that the country would continue to produce fossil fuels, although in smaller quantities, and noted that the global electrification trend signaled higher demand for metals such as gold, nickel and copper. This can be seen in the price of copper, which has doubled in the last year to the highest amount recorded in almost 10 years.
Colombia is part of the global transition toward cleaner energy, with bioenergy and wind projects, as well as a 7000-megawatt solar pipeline. The nation will commence a renewable energy auction in the final half of this year, with firms such as Electricite de France SA, Isagen SA, Enel Green Power SpA and Celsia Sa drafted as possible bidders.
Additionally, the minister stated that the country is trying to encourage the use of electric vehicles (“EVs”), noting that in 2020 the electric vehicle industry sales in the country grew 90%. This year alone, the industry is expected to sell nearly 10,000 electric and hybrid vehicles, which will outdo a four-year sales target of 6,600 electric vehicles that had been set in 2018.
Cities such Cali, Medellin and Bogota are focusing on electric mobility, with Mesa noting that the mass transportation system would have the biggest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, excluding China. Mesa also mentioned that more companies that manufacture cars would introduce new models to the Colombian market after the country became more competitive, observing that people became more conscious of their environmental footprint as a result of the pandemic.
Electric mobility stands a higher chance of delivering on its potential for environmental friendliness if energy to charge the EVs is sourced sustainably. Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) is the top miner of uranium in the U.S., and this source of clean energy has the potential to meet the added demand for electricity as more people buy electric cars.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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