The global green energy revolution will boost demand for copper as cars and trucks switch fuel from petrol to electricity.

The red metal is well placed to benefit because it has very few close competitors for industrial electricity transmission, according to Oxford Economics.

Meanwhile, years of low prices (and more recently, COVID-19) has slowed investment — thinning the pipeline of mining projects on the horizon.

Copper demand will benefit from electrification in two ways, Oxford says.

Copper prices over the past 5 years.

 

Bigger batteries = more copper

First, EVs – which contain significantly more copper than traditional vehicles already – are expected to need bigger batteries to provide adequate power and range.

“Those bigger batteries mean copper’s use in wires and motors needs to be significantly scaled up and should double or triple per vehicle,” Oxford says.

With sales of EVs growing far more rapidly than traditional cars, the boost to copper will inevitably be amplified.

 

Charging up with copper

Second, copper will benefit from a massive build-out of charging stations for EVs.

The EU has a €20bn ($31.5 billion) green energy plan to increase the number of public charging stations from 170,000 in 2020 to 2 million by 2025, Oxford says.

“Some of this extra infrastructure will also boost aluminium demand (the light metal is used for overhead power lines), but significant amounts of extra copper will also be needed for power cables.”

And don’t forget wind and solar power — some scenarios suggest that solar alone may need an extra 20 million tonnes of copper by 2050, which is equal to current global output. Ridiculous.

Here’s how a bunch of ASX-listed copper-exposed stocks are performing.

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop:

CODE COMPANY 1 WEEK CHANGE % 1 MONTH CHANGE % 6 MONTH CHANGE % 1 YEAR CHANGE % PRICE MARKET CAP
AML Aeon Metals 0 9 -9 -7 0.125 $ 81,308,367.24
AIS Aeris Resources -5 -18 62 77 0.086 $ 161,246,584.06
A1M Aic Mines -5 -5 13 8 0.35 $ 24,050,256.30
AUQ Alara Resources -32 -28 0 -24 0.013 $ 8,712,051.10
ALY Alchemy Resource 0 0 8 67 0.018 $ 12,100,382.15
AL8 Alderan Resource -8 -19 -39 439 0.097 $ 28,900,285.92
AQI Alicanto Minerals 10 5 38 100 0.11 $ 35,960,920.71
AQX Alice Queen 6 3 -15 27 0.033 $ 37,113,161.35
ALK Alkane Resources -2 -17 -30 -2 0.8 $ 482,264,928.00
ATM Aneka Tambang 0 0 0 0 1 $ 1,303,649.00
AZY Antipa Minerals -9 -7 -11 273 0.041 $ 102,337,665.34
ARD Argent Minerals 17 2 21 294 0.063 $ 53,387,735.03
ARE Argonaut Resources 8 44 30 160 0.013 $ 37,867,328.84
AKN Auking Mining 0 0 0 0 0.002 $ 1,865,168.92
AOU Auroch Minerals -11 70 311 292 0.255 $ 67,191,946.75
AMG Ausmex Mining -7 35 100 10 0.066 $ 36,840,633.80
AQD Ausquest 0 33 -26 82 0.02 $ 14,223,986.30
AZS Azure Minerals -8 -17 219 281 0.495 $ 152,502,431.90
BAT Battery Minerals -15 40 211 300 0.028 $ 59,196,932.69
BHP BHP Group 0 2 16 15 44.07 $ 129,352,334,710.54
BOA Boadicea Resources 4 8 36 42 0.27 $ 16,779,351.42
BOC Bougainville Copper -4 52 66 57 0.44 $ 164,435,625.00
BYH Bryah Resources -11 -10 9 54 0.063 $ 9,673,052.00
CAE Cannindah Resources -3 -10 100 180 0.028 $ 8,020,450.12
CBY Canterbury Resources -9 -9 -29 -47 0.096 $ 8,449,439.52
CVV Caravel Minerals -5 -25 339 543 0.18 $ 52,189,544.34
CWX Carawine Resources -9 -12 13 10 0.215 $ 23,411,328.93
CCZ Castillo Copper 8 76 52 219 0.067 $ 66,165,204.43
CHN Chalice Mining -1 -7 277 1278 4 $ 1,343,368,709.07
CHK Cohiba Minerals -10 58 280 245 0.038 $ 50,007,077.14
C6C Copper Mountain 7 23 228 196 2.25 $ 38,060,286.42
COY Coppermoly -10 46 171 280 0.019 $ 40,417,065.79
CZN Corazon -17 55 55 -8 0.062 $ 9,760,104.36
CYM Cyprium Metals -4 9 53 -13 0.245 $ 24,149,457.43
DEV Devex Resources 5 -12 33 331 0.22 $ 62,183,844.80
DGR DGR Global -12 -11 -2 7 0.065 $ 65,363,774.71
EM2 Eagle Mountain -10 -27 130 130 0.345 $ 51,224,898.96
ERM Emmerson Resources 1 -10 -28 -10 0.072 $ 34,765,478.93
ENR Encounter Resources -15 -20 -3 40 0.14 $ 44,178,918.42
FNT Frontier Resources 0 13 42 70 0.017 $ 8,314,732.95
GRL Godolphin Resources 4 2 4 29 0.245 $ 20,601,119.25
GMN Gold Mountain 5 5 -10 -34 0.045 $ 33,469,309.08
GED Golden Deeps 9 9 20 -52 0.012 $ 9,295,360.14
GTE Great Western Exploration 18 40 55 272 0.295 $ 32,535,457.08
HAV Havilah Resources 8 26 19 117 0.215 $ 65,849,604.02
HGO Hillgrove Resources 0 6 2 -36 0.035 $ 23,162,936.79
HCH Hot Chili -8 -17 25 29 0.035 $ 107,060,694.65
IGO IGO -4 -5 37 12 6.42 $ 4,778,359,900.03
IVR Investigator Resources 21 -6 108 238 0.081 $ 106,996,675.17
KAU Kaiser Reef -9 7 28 0 0.44 $ 42,595,675.76
KGL KGL Resources -6 53 133 101 0.42 $ 141,014,168.82
KTA Krakatoa Resources -3 -13 -23 103 0.065 $ 19,526,500.00
LEX Lefroy Exploration 0 -13 -32 8 0.2 $ 24,001,933.40
MAU Magnetic Resources -1 18 -3 138 1.38 $ 291,831,358.95
MCB MCB Resources 0 0 0 0 0.07 $ 1,798,548.64
MLX Metals X 0 26 105 118 0.017 $ 154,235,231.39
MEP Minotaur Exploration 0 -16 269 260 0.155 $ 74,813,824.05
NML Navarre Minerals 0 -21 32 72 0.165 $ 87,222,744.16
NWC New World Resources -13 -18 53 207 0.046 $ 59,684,700.11
OAR OAR Resources -21 0 633 511 0.022 $ 34,000,309.25
ORN Orion Minerals 15 7 58 36 0.03 $ 98,997,842.74
OZL OZ Minerals 2 -3 35 94 18.86 $ 6,344,267,824.85
PEX Peel Mining 13 -12 14 14 0.265 $ 87,119,172.57
PXX Polarx 42 52 12 27 0.047 $ 25,468,308.02
REE Rarex Limited 0 4 105 221 0.125 $ 51,080,400.50
RVR Red River Resources -6 -27 96 135 0.235 $ 119,088,104.41
RCP Redbank Copper 8 8 311 311 0.078 $ 31,813,906.18
RXM Rex Minerals 0 11 -2 251 0.2 $ 73,366,329.27
RIO Rio Tinto 1 -1 9 18 114.88 $ 42,422,588,935.92
RTG RTG Mining Inc. 3 -9 39 132 0.195 $ 124,665,870.03
SFR Sandfire Resources 3 -10 0 -8 4.89 $ 864,518,965.05
SCI Silver City Minerals 23 29 50 200 0.027 $ 12,184,006.33
SRI Sipa Resources 0 -10 -34 -6 0.061 $ 11,203,122.92
SUH Southern Hem Min 19 41 34 125 0.038 $ 9,288,710.77
SGQ St George Mining -5 0 3 -5 0.1 $ 51,613,196.04
SVY Stavely Minerals -1 -9 23 4 0.72 $ 190,501,859.96
SLZ Sultan Resources 8 -15 11 223 0.2 $ 13,906,877.80
TLM Talisman Mining -5 -2 -34 12 0.095 $ 17,729,696.58
TAR Taruga Minerals 0 -9 0 243 0.048 $ 21,945,672.29
TAS Tasman Resources 9 73 109 84 0.071 $ 42,779,763.46
VXR Venturex Resources -4 -8 72 15 0.115 $ 43,584,050.25
XAM Xanadu Mines 3 -10 -39 6 0.036 $ 38,214,453.27
ZNC Zenith Minerals -14 -4 9 131 0.125 $ 36,795,003.75
ANX Anax Metals 109 128 319 925 0.1025 $ 13,169,702.02
MBK Metal Bank -15 -15 15 44 0.011 $ 13,029,591.34
HMX Hammer Metals 6 160 112 333 0.091 $ 64,507,464.11
DEX Duke Exploration -5 -11 0 0 0.29 $ 17,497,733.19
IPT Impact Minerals -5 0 0 171 0.019 $ 33,836,842.38
TTM Titan Minerals 0 0 -21 -12 0.115 $ 131,037,029.91
STM Sunstone Metals 0 7 36 15 0.015 $ 30,939,827.04
HLX Helix Resources 23 60 -16 35 0.016 $ 11,911,798.92
TRN Torrens Mining -14 0 0 0 0.19 $ 24,632,043.03