Germany, which is dependent on imports for raw materials such as copper, nickel and cobalt, which are important for electric cars and renewable energy, is preparing to change this situation by searching for raw materials at a depth of 4,500 meters in the Pacific Ocean.
According to the report of the German News Agency (DPA), Germany, which defined deep sea mining as a priority issue in the Marine Technologies National Master Plan in 2011, is trying to meet the need for raw materials from the sea with the increasing importance of raw materials for the global economy.
Germany, which has so far been dependent on imports of metals such as nickel, copper and cobalt, which are urgently needed for electric vehicles and the spread of renewable energies, predicts that the demand for these mines to be mined from the deep seabed will be high in the coming years.
The German Federal Institute of Earth Sciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is working to scientifically evaluate the environmental impact of marine mining at a depth of approximately 4,500 meters at sea between Hawaii and Mexico.
MAY LEAVE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO THE OCEAN ECOSYSTEM
While deep-sea mining in Germany is still a vision for the future, organizations such as the international environmental organization Greenpeace warn that the extraction of raw material can permanently damage the ocean ecosystem.
“IT IS WALKING OUR OCEANS AS IT WAS DONE TOMORROW”
Sandra Schöttner, a marine biologist, one of the Greenpeace activists, said, “Today industry is plundering and polluting our oceans as if there is no tomorrow. The deep sea should not be destroyed by mining. If life dies in the seas, we will lose our livelihood. ” used the expression.
While the arrival of breakthrough technologies in the automobile industry from China and the USA in recent years has been a matter of debate in the German public, German manufacturers have announced that they will invest more than 100 billion euros for electric cars after these discussions, especially battery technology.
It is noteworthy that German companies have increased their cooperation with China-based companies, which have made significant progress in both raw material supply and technology in battery technology.
FUTURE OIL LITHIUM
The increasing interest in electric cars and autonomous robots, especially in the recent period, brings lithium to the fore as the basic substance of the energy storage units that these machines need.
It is noteworthy that countries taking action in the production of lithium and batteries are working intensively to guarantee their raw material supply chains.
Cobalt, natural graphite and silicon used in battery production were included in the European Union (EU) critical raw material list prepared in 2017, while lithium was also included in the list updated in September 2020.
CHINA INCREASES BATTERY PRODUCTION CAPACITY
On the other hand, China is not idle about lithium, the most important raw material of the future.
While buying lithium companies in South America, which owns half of the world’s lithium deposits, on the other hand, strengthening its position in this market by establishing the Association of Mining Companies with companies in lithium-rich countries, China also guarantees raw material resources and increases its battery production capacity.
There are Chinese companies aiming to become the world’s largest battery manufacturer as a vision. Having 50 percent of the world’s lithium-ion battery production capacity in 2013, China began controlling 60 percent of the total capacity in 2018.
Among the largest manufacturers of these batteries in the world, the Chinese CATL company stands out.