Responsible Mining for sustainable raw materials.

Energy transition - from fossil fuels to electrified gear - involves a huge rise in copper demand. Copper is tha base element in generators, transformers, dives and electric grits. It's ability to conduct a maximum of current with minimal resistance is unbeaten. Studies estimate, that the current pace of electrification in transport and home appliance will increase copper demand by the factor 3...5 until 2050. 

With new applications being built and operated for longterm use, the secondary copper supply will have a timelag of up to 30 years, so current demand can only be met by increasing primary sources of copper supply: 

  • increasing the output of existing ore mining operations,

  • ramping up new onshore mines, or

  • utilizing copper-rich mineral deposits in the oceans.

Currently copper ores are mined basically onshore in Indonesia and Lantin America in open pit mines with depths up to 1.000 m and with ore contents of 0.8% copper or less. Due to million years of geological processing the ores have considerabily high strengths, requiring increased energy for milling and processing. Increasing the size of onshore operations involves in many cases reallocation of inhabitants, areas for tailing landfills and energy for transportation.

Deep Sea Mining – although critizised for causing impact on currently less explored deep sea ocean environments – is, in case of copper-rich massive sulfites, aiming on ores with copper contents of 8...30% copper. While a metric ton of currently mined onshore ore contains only some 8...10 kg of copper, a metric ton of seabed massive sulfite will contain between 80 to 300 kgs. Having not been compressed and recrystallized, mechanical strenght is considerabily lower, so roughly half the energy amount for milling and processing is necessary. And finally: no overburden has to be removed, no landfill site has to be built up - which makes seabed massive sulfites in many cases more sustainable as source for copper.

Minimal invasive mining

Virtually no overburden of associated volcanic rocks

Very small footprint of only a few square metres on the sea floor

No causing of significant suspension plume