Germany is working to evaluate “sea mining” in the area at a depth of approximately 4,500 meters between Hawaii and Mexico. Organizations such as Greenpeace warn that the extraction of raw materials can permanently damage the ocean ecosystem.
Germany, which is dependent on imports for raw materials such as copper, nickel and cobalt, which is 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 news 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 as the importance of raw materials for the global economy gradually increases.
Germany, which has been dependent on imports of minerals 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 extracted from the deep sea floor will be high in the coming years.
Germany’s Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is working to scientifically assess the environmental impacts of marine mining at a depth of approximately 4,500 meters in the sea between Hawaii and Mexico.
CAN DO PERMANENT DAMAGE TO THE OCEAN ECOSYSTEM
Although Germany’s deep-sea mining is still a vision for the future, organizations such as the international environmental organization Greenpeace warn that the extraction of the raw material could permanently damage the ocean ecosystem.
“IT IS LOADING OUR OCEANS AS IF THERE IS NO TOMORROW”
SandraSchöttner, a marine biologist and a Greenpeace activist, 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 also lose our livelihood.” used the phrase.
While the breakthrough technologies in the automobile industry from China and the USA have been the subject of debate in the German public in recent years, German manufacturers announced that they will invest more than 100 billion euros in electric cars after these discussions, especially in battery technology.
It is noteworthy that German companies have increased their cooperation with China-based companies, which have made significant progress in battery technology, both in raw material supply and technology.
THE OIL OF THE FUTURE LITHIUM
Especially in the recent period, the increasing interest in electric cars and autonomous robots highlights lithium as the basic material of the energy storage units needed by these machines.
It is noteworthy that countries taking action on lithium and battery production are working hard to ensure their raw material supply chains in this regard.
While cobalt, natural graphite and silicon used in battery production were included in the European Union (EU) critical raw material list prepared in 2017, lithium was also included in the list updated in September 2020.
CHINA INCREASES BATTERY PRODUCTION CAPACITY
On the other hand, China does not stay idle when it comes to lithium, which is the most important raw material of the future.
While buying the lithium companies in South America, which has half of the world’s lithium deposits, on the other hand, China strengthens its position in this market by establishing the Association of Mining Companies with companies in lithium-rich countries, while at the same time increasing its battery production capacity by guaranteeing its raw material resources.
There are Chinese companies that aim 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 started to control 60 percent of the total capacity in 2018.
The Chinese company CATL stands out among the world’s largest manufacturers of these batteries.
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