As a world leading supplier of clean energy and battery minerals such as lithium, copper and uranium, all eyes are on Australia’s key players in the development of a range of new projects locally and globally.
The nation has been identified as being critically important in helping meet international forecasts of a supply deficit of battery metals by as early as 2024.
Recent S&P Global studies have tipped EV sales to double in the near future and reach 31.6 million units by 2027.
Shortages of cobalt and lithium in particular are expected through 2027, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.
But it is not only the EV market that is grabbing attention from local battery metal explorers and developers.
Allied Market Research (AMR) has reported that the consumer electronics segment accounted for nearly two-fifths of global battery metals market revenue in 2019 and is anticipated to rule the roost until 2027.
This is being led by a rise in demand for consumer electronics gadgets such as smart phones, laptops, CPU, tablets and others, which fuels the segment growth. At the same time, the energy storage systems segment market is forecast to have the fastest CAGR of 8.5% from 2020 to 2027.
Nuclear power’s clean energy potential growing
While Australia remains the world’s leading uranium producer, a ban on large scale nuclear generation in the country still remains.
However, the Federal opposition has put up its hand to say it can change that attitude if it is elected to government.
Recent start-ups of new nuclear projects in Europe in particular has seen the uranium price surge, with forecasts it will to go much higher as the world’s nuclear power capacity increases substantially in response to electricity shortages and the need to cut carbon emissions.
That is certainly welcome news for Australian uranium miners like Boss Energy (ASX: BOE), which is on target to bring its Honeymoon mine in South Australia into production in the fourth quarter.
Boss Energy’s managing director and chief executive officer, Duncan Craib, is set to provide important updates on Honeymoon and the uranium and nuclear markets when he makes a keynote presentation at the Resources Rising Stars event in Brisbane Monday 18th September, Sydney on Tuesday the 19th September and Melbourne on Wednesday 20th of September. Investors are able to attend for free.
Battery metals specialists on the card
Joining Mr Craib as presenters at this conference will be battery metals specialists Bill Beament from Develop Global (ASX: DVP), Alex Cheeseman from Critical Resources (ASX: CRR) and Gerard O’Donovan from Battery Age Minerals (ASX: BM8).
Develop Global is currently progressing preparations for a production re-start at its Woodlawn zinc-copper project in NSW, while advancing its Sulphur Springs copper-zinc project in WA.
The company has also added lithium to its portfolio with a deal to acquire Essential Metals (ASX: ESS) via a board-recommended scheme of arrangement.
Develop Global is aiming to utilise its expertise to fast-track the development of Essential’s Pioneer Dome lithium deposit, located in the heart of WA’s “Lithium Corridor”.
Critical Resources has plenty of lithium upside
Meanwhile, Critical Resources is aiming to rapidly establish itself as a new lithium producer and key participant in the fast-growing North American battery materials supply chain.
It recently released a maiden inferred resource of 8 million tonnes at 1.7% lithium oxide at its Mavis Lake project in north-western Ontario.
The company is moving quickly to build on that initial success through extensional drilling at the Mavis Lake main zone and further exploration at the exciting Gullwing/Tot Lake project, 4km away, where it has defined an 8km long pegmatite system.
The company’s maiden hole of its northern summer program delivered an impressive 74m intercept, intersecting a large “swell zone” which has highlighted the potential for significant and rapid growth in the Mavis Lake resource.
Battery Age is charged up
Battery Age Minerals has also uncovered significant lithium potential in Ontario.
The new entrant to the junior lithium exploration sector on the ASX is fast-tracking activities at its Falcon Lake lithium project located in the highly prospective Thunder Bay area.
Falcon Lake lies just 10km along strike from the Seymour Lake lithium project which has defined a global inferred and indicated mineral resource of 9.9 million tonnes at 1.04% lithium oxide.
Lithium exploration is booming in Canada on the back of significant funding support from local governments and a need for domestic supply into a battery metal hungry US market.