Latin America is an established producer of several minerals essential for clean energy technologies and could build on its well-established mining sector to diversify into new minerals and help the global economy avoid the shortfalls and bottlenecks that could hinder clean energy transitions. Latin America accounts for 40% of global production of copper and 35% of lithium production. In addition, the region has significant potential in graphite, nickel, manganese and rare earth elements production.
The region already produces large quantities of lithium, which is needed for batteries, and copper and underpins the expansion of renewables and electricity networks. But Latin America could expand into a range of other materials such as rare earth elements that are required for electric vehicle motors and wind turbines, and nickel, a key component in batteries. However, to reap this potential, mining activities must adhere to high environmental, social and governance standards and also seek ways to generate tangible benefits for local communities.