Reading John Dizard’s column “Atomic race shows how the west can secure copper for its energy transition” (Opinion, FT Weekend, January 8) it is clear that meeting the growing need for copper by increasing the domestic stock of the metal will require much more than opening new mines. So important – and what is needed – is new melting capacity. Revival of copper production in the west relies on radical innovation in metal mining technology.
Imagine a process that produces superior metal at a lower cost with no greenhouse gas emissions. Such technology will regain domestic market share of foreign producers.
We must find out the future; we can not simply legislate for it.
Donald R Sadoway
John F Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA