I'm certainly not the only person who noticed before now that sustaining our increasing consumption of copper would be difficult as I suggested in my July 2022 piece entitled "Acceleration forever? The increasing momentum of mineral extraction." But the mainstream media now seems to be catching up with the story. The boom in demand for copper for electronic devices, electric vehicles, and energy infrastructure is likely to lead to shortages in the next decade.
The Reuters story cited above also tells us that mines take 10 to 20 years to develop AFTER the deposits they are based on are identified. There is, therefore, little prospect that copper production will be dramatically increased in the next decade. (I'm assuming that there are going to be no crash government-subsidized programs and waiving of environmental and permitting regulations. But, even if such programs and waivers emerge, I'm not sure they will have much effect in the next decade or so.)
Copper isn't the only critical metal of which we may not have enough. The European Commission noted in a 2020 white paper the growing list of critical minerals, the supply of which may not be adequate. Some are in demand because they are important to an increasingly electrified transportation system and the renewable energy industry. Many so-called Rare Earth Elements fall into this category. Right now those metals come primarily from China.
I summarized the mentality that has neglected what to me was an obvious emerging problem in a piece I wrote in 2009. Let me quote from that piece: