The World Bank estimates that more than 3 billion tons of metals and minerals could be required over the next 30 years to power the technologies for the global energy transition. Key critical metals and minerals include copper, lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, and rare earth.
The global mining industry, often supported by host governments, is positioning mining as a “green solution” to the climate crisis. This “green mining boom” is rapidly expanding into culturally and ecologically sensitive areas, increasingly affecting Indigenous and human rights, community livelihoods and the environment.
Communities, academics, and activists say that an energy transition that heavily depends on mining new materials without considering materials and energy for what, for whom, and at what socio-environmental costs will only reinforce injustices and lack of sustainability that have deepened the climate crisis in the first place.
Mobilized communities affected by the growing pressure for strategic metals in nine countries of the Americas — Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, USA, and Canada — have come together with the teams at Environmental Justice Atlas and MiningWatch Canada to document 25 individual cases — mostly related to Canadian and Australian companies — and identify regional trends as mining for the energy transition accelerates.