The Importance of Mining In The World To 2030 And The Role That Rio Tinto Will Play In This
Mining and human development are inseparable phenomena from the beginning of history. Urbanisation, energy production and manufacturing are unimaginable without the extraction of metals and minerals from ores. Global trends suggest that this relation is one that will become even more significant in 2030. Not only will it become essential to extract minerals and metals for traditional purposes but also to drive the infrastructural development of green technology. Rio Tinto is a mining group that can, through its global outreach and innovation, harvest such opportunities.
Traditional sectors such as construction, energy and transport that heavily rely on mining for raw materials will see growth from now until 2030. According to UN estimates 70% of the world’s population will be in urban areas in 2050 compared to a current estimate of 50%. This rapid urbanization as well as major infrastructural developments in emerging nations such as China and India as well as the Gulf states will lead to greater demand of construction raw materials. Similar growth is expected in the road and aviation sectors presenting new horizons of mining investment. These trends help explain the keen interest of China in the African mining countries whereby they are securing the driving force behind economic growth.
As the world shifts towards a low carbon economy to address climate change the mining sector will have to supply the materials required to accomplish this feat. If renewable energy sources are to have a much greater share of the energy budget then wind and solar power will proliferate rapidly. Construction of wind farms and solar panels both require copper, iron, aluminium and iron ore. These two technologies are the foremost of non-hydro renewable sources which are predicted by the International Energy Agency to grow from 3% in 2009 to 15% in 2035 thus the demand for the...