Going 'green' has a cost

From John Pettimore, a retired Canadian miner, and Mining Watch Canada, here are some numbers and facts to consider next time someone tells you electric vehicles are "green".

• There are currently 1.5 billion internal combustion vehicles in the world.

• Each 1,000 pound EV battery requires the mining of 90,000 pounds of ore, requiring the energy consumption equivalent to 100 barrels of oil - for a battery that can store the equivalent energy of one barrel of oil.

• Purifying one tonne of rare earth metal requires 200 cubic meters (44,000 gallons) of water, which then become polluted with acids and heavy metals.

• 18,000 pounds of ore are required to produce two pounds of vanadium.

• 35,000 pounds of ore are required for two pounds of cerium.

• 110,000 pounds of ore are required for two pounds of gallium.

• 2,600,000 pounds of ore are required for 2 pounds of lutecium.

These are all metals (granted sometimes in small amounts) required for EV batteries and/or solar panels.

Mankind already uses two billion tonnes of metals every year, equivalent to 500 Eiffel Towers every day.

One-fifth of China's arable land (land that is suitable for growing plants and/or crops) is already polluted due to mining.

If we were to mine all of the metals required for the "green industry", it would adversely impact 35% of the world's land area, not including Antarctica.

Lloyd Vinish, Kelowna

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