Gold Companies on the Bill at Roadhouse Roadshow

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: The Resources Roadhouse will be on the road again in a couple of weeks. This time we will be in Melbourne presenting our inaugural Resources Roadhouse Roadshow. Here’s a quick bite of two of the companies that will be presenting.

Adelong Gold (ASX: ADG) has declared itself as being on track to becoming a mineral producer at the company’s Adelong Goldfield project in New South Wales.

Adelong Gold acquired the project in May 2020 that currently hosts a JORC 2012-compliant Resource of 188,000 ounces.

The most recent news to filter out of the project was completion of a soil sampling program to the north of the Currajong deposit that had been designed to test an area to the north-west of the Adelong Mill and resulted in defining several new drill targets.

The soil sampling program was carried out to the north of the Currajong deposit, with 191 samples taken on 10 lines covering a one kilometre strike length.

Results included five samples of greater than one gram per tonne gold with a peak result of 1.75g/t gold whilst highlighting potential for multiple lines of mineralisation striking NNW similar to the adjacent deposits in the immediate area of Challenger, Currajong and Caledonian.

“We are very encouraged with the results of this soil sampling program, which highlight the potential for extension of mineralisation to the north of the Currajong deposit within close proximity of the Adelong Mill,” Adelong Gold managing director Ian Holland said at the time.

“The Scoping Study demonstrates an attractive commercial operation to be developed at Adelong, and so the discovery of further shallow mineralisation nearby augurs well for this project to grow further.”

Adelong Gold has further drilling planned within the key deposits mentioned above (Challenger, Currajong and Caledonian) that comprise the Scoping Study currently underway with a view to potentially upgrading and extending these sources.

This will underpin works to upgrade the current study to allow for a range of funding options to be considered for the development of the Adelong gold project.

Alto Metals (ASX: AME) also is also keeping drillers busy with a regional aircore (AC) drilling program having got underway at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold project in Western Australia.

Alto Metals has an initial approx. 4,000 metres program planned to test shallow gold targets that were identified via a recent infill soils sampling program at the Sandstone North prospect.

The infill program returned gold results that delineated a coherent gold anomaly over 1km strike, including values of up to 100ppb gold.

The location of the gold anomaly also correlates with a major north-south trending interpreted shear zone along a regional fold axis, in a similar position and approximately 1.5kms along strike, from historical workings and high-grade drilling results.

“We are pleased to have a rig back on site drilling at our Sandstone gold project,” Alto Metals managing director Matthew Bowles said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“Given the structural setting and high-grade gold results reported in historical drilling at Sandstone North, we are excited to be testing these compelling regional gold targets.

“We continue to focus on advancing our Sandstone gold project and Sandstone North demonstrates the quality of our regional project pipeline.

“We look forward to providing shareholders with updates on the results of the drilling when they are received.”

Alto Metals currently has a shallow, open pit gold resource of 17.6 million tonnes at 1.5 grams per tonne gold for 832,000 ounces optimised and pit-constrained within $2,500/oz pit-shells.

Of note, the mineral resources are shallow with over 90 per cent within 150m from surface.

The optimised and pit-constrained MRE captures over 80 per cent of the total unconstrained MRE of 23.5 million tonnes at 1.4g/t gold for 1.05 million ounces.

The Roadhouse Roadshow will be at The Kelvin Club in Melbourne of Wednesday April 24.

Melbourne readers are welcome and encouraged to attend. To save your place follow this link to register:

Global Lithium Resources in Pole Position for Market Turnaround

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Global Lithium Resources (ASX: GL1) managing director Ron Mitchell says the company’s Manna project is ideally placed to capitalise on the looming improvement in the lithium market. By Kristie Batten

Spodumene prices dipped below US$1000 per tonne earlier this year after trading as high as US$6000/t in late 2022.

In recent weeks, producers Pilbara Minerals, Albemarle Corporation and Mineral Resources have reportedly sold spodumene cargoes at above spot prices.

“The floor is probably now 4-5 weeks behind us,” Mitchell told the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore last week.

“We’re seeing now sustained improvement and consistency in pricing and I’d expect that to continue to improve through the third quarter and leading into the back end [of the year].”

Global Lithium is working on a definitive feasibility study at Manna, 100 kilometres east of Kalgoorlie.
The DFS is advanced and is expected to be completed this year.

“We’re one of only a handful of companies on the planet in lithium at the DFS stage,” Mitchell said.

“This is a ripping project.”

Global Lithium is working with SRK Consulting and GR Engineering Services to review the key inputs to the DFS.

“When we do deliver this project to market it will be bullet-proof and competitive,” Mitchell said.

Manna has a resource of 36 million tonnes at 1.13 per cent lithium oxide, based on just one year of drilling.

A resource update, incorporating 60,000 metres of drilling, is due in the current quarter.

Most of the drilling has been infill.

“What we’ve found is the grade is lifting and we’re getting great continuity, and the resource is still open,” Mitchell said.

“The under cover part of the orebody to the south is showing great potential.”

The 2024 drilling program will begin this quarter alongside the DFS and permitting work.

Mitchell said the company is hoping to receive the “holy grail”, a mining lease, in the September quarter.

“It positions us perfectly for when we do see sustained improvement,” he said.

Mitchell said the company’s three main advantages was that it owned 100 per cent of its projects, had no royalties over the projects, and still had 70 per cent of its offtake uncommitted.

“We’re in no rush to do offtake – it’s a weapon for us,” he said.

Global Lithium also has strategic partnerships with Australian producer Mineral Resources and China’s Canmax, the latter which it has an offtake deal with.

“The reality is in this market, in the next 2-3 years, if you want to make money in the lithium industry, you have to have a toe in China,” Mitchell said.

Global Lithium has A$36 million in cash.

“We’re fully funded all the way through to the final investment decision in the next 24 months,” Mitchell said.



Argonaut Funds Management Names Top Mining Stock Picks

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: David Franklyn from Argonaut Funds Management outlined his top themes and stock picks in the current economic climate. By Kristie Batten

The Argonaut Natural Resources Fund has gained 188 per cent since inception and Franklyn gave Day Three delegates at the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore an overview of what he’s seeing in the mining space.

Battery minerals including lithium performed strongly in 2022 as the energy transition gathered pace.
“In the past 6-9 months that story has changed,” Franklyn said.

Franklyn said China was exerting its power in certain commodities, including rare earths and graphite.

Another key theme is the reconfiguration of supply chains.

“We’re seeing almost a duplication of supply chains so we can get security of supply,” Franklyn said.

Franklyn also noted that a surge in global defence spending would also be good for metals.

Looking at lithium, Franklyn said Pilbara Minerals’ December half 2023 financial results could be a good snapshot of how the sector could look in the future.

Pilbara produced 320,153 tonnes of spodumene in the period, achieving an average price of US$1645 per tonne.

Revenue was A$760 million and EBITDA was A$415 million for a margin of 55 per cent, which Franklyn said could be an indicator of margins going forward.

Argonaut’s top pick in lithium is Patriot Battery Metals, which owns the Corvette lithium discovery in Canada.

“We’re looking for more tier one development assets,” Franklyn said.

Corvette has a resource estimate of 109.2 million tonnes at 1.42 per cent lithium oxide.

Earlier in the conference, Patriot chief operating officer Blair Way said the company was aiming to report a resource update in the September 2024 quarter.

“It’s likely to grow to 150 million tonnes or more,” Franklyn said.

Former Pilbara managing director Ken Brinsden was chairman of Patriot but recently became MD and relocated to Canada.

“We think that’s pretty exciting,” said Franklyn.

Argonaut is also excited by uranium, which recently hit a 16-year high of more than US$106 per pound.

There are 62 nuclear reactors under construction around the world.

“Uranium is undoubtedly going to grow its market share,” Franklyn said.

“There’s really one company I think is a standout in the sector and that’s NexGen Energy.”

Franklyn cited NexGen’s large, high-grade Rook I project in Saskatchewan and provincial approval (with federal approval expected to follow later this year) as the reasons why the company was a standout.

In copper, newly listed Metals Acquisition is Franklyn’s top pick.

Argonaut head of research Hayden Bairstow has a buy rating on Metals Acquisition and a A$22.80 price target.

“It’s very high-grade, it’s got a very good management team,” Franklyn said.

“We think it will emerge as a key pick in the Australian copper space.”

Franklyn said interest in gold was still lacking from generalist investors despite its recent record price levels.

“We think we’ll see improving demand in that area,” he said.

Argonaut’s checklist for gold stocks is long mine life, production growth, low operating and capital costs, tier one location and strong management team.

Based on that criteria, Argonaut’s top picks in the gold space are Capricorn Metals and Genesis Minerals.


AIC Mines Increases Jericho Ore Reserves

THE DRILL SERGEANT: AIC Mines (ASX: A1M) reported an updated Ore Reserve estimate for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Jericho copper deposit in north Queensland.

The Jericho deposit is located just four kilometres south of the company’s Eloise copper mine.

AIC Mines explained the Jericho Ore Reserves increased thanks to the inclusion of results from a drilling program undertaken in 2023 and updated mine designs.

Jericho Ore Reserves now total 3.2 million tonnes at 1.9 per cent copper and 0.4 grams per tonne silver containing 61,100 tonnes of copper and 37,000 ounces of gold.

The update represents an 86 per cent increase in contained copper and an 86 per cent increase in contained gold.

AIC anticipates ongoing drilling to further increase Jericho Ore Reserves.

“We completed the acquisition of Jericho in January last year,” AIC Mines managing director Aaron Colleran said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“We’ve barely owned the deposit for 12 months and in this time we have significantly increased the Jericho Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve, completed mining studies, environmental studies, metallurgical testwork plus an Eloise expansion study.

“It has been an incredibly busy and incredibly successful period for AIC Mines.

“Why are we pushing so hard, moving so quickly? Simple, Jericho is a game changer for Eloise.

“It provides a pathway to expanding annual production at Eloise to over 20,000 tonnes of copper and 10,000 ounces of gold in concentrate.

“Mining at Jericho will be lower cost than Eloise as it is much shallower, commencing below only 50 metres of cover.

“Expansion of the Eloise processing plant will reduce operating costs through economies of scale and smarter equipment.

“Jericho de-risks production by increasing the number of available ore sources.

“The world needs more copper as we transition away from fossil fuels. We are focused on delivering into that demand.”




CGN Aiming to Make Next Major West Arunta Discovery

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Relative ASX newcomer CGN Resources is hoping to make a major discovery in the hot West Arunta region of Western Australia. By Kristie Batten

The company listed on the ASX in October 2023 after a A$10 million initial public offering but has been active in the West Arunta since 2010, making it one of the early movers.

“Now there is no ground left in the West Arunta,” CGN managing director Stan Wholley told the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore.

“It’s probably one of the hottest districts at the moment.”

That’s largely thanks to WA1 Resources’ Luni niobium discovery in the region, but IGO, Encounter Resources, Rio Tinto and Tali Resources are also active.

CGN stands for copper-gold-nickel but the company is also looking for critical minerals including rare earths.

Wholley said the West Arunta could be one of Australia’s last unexplored copper provinces and had known iron oxide-copper-gold mineralisation.

“To not have a big red blob [on the map] in this area is unusual and we hope to be the ones to find it,” he said.

CGN has identified six priority targets.

Snorky, Horton, Surus and Tantor are IOCG targets, Shep is a nickel target and Hathi is a rare earth target.

The company just completed induced polarisation surveys at Surus, Shep, Snorky and Horton, which confirmed the presence of gravity anomalies at all four prospects.

Drilling will begin at Surus next month, assisted by A$220,000 in Exploration Incentive Scheme funding from the WA government.

CGN has already spent A$7 million on geological data.

“Which gave us a really great pool of geoscience data,” Wholley said.

The company still has A$8.5 million in cash.

“That gives us enough money to deliver on our project pipeline,” Wholley said.

“We’ve got cash, we’ve got the time, let’s get it done.”

CGN shares hit an all-time high of 32 cents during ASX trading on Wednesday.


Mr Lithium Sees Price Bottoming

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Lithium prices should start to rebound this year after a dramatic 12 months, according to Global Lithium’s Joe Lowry. By Kristie Batten

Lowry, aka ‘Mr Lithium’, told the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore that any market that was expected to grow tenfold over 10 years would experience growing pains and volatility.

“I still believe it is the lithium decade – I absolutely believe that,” he said.

Lithium prices dropped by more than 80% last year and have continued to fall in 2024 – though there has recently been signs of stability.

Both Canaccord Genuity and UBS have called the bottom for prices in recent weeks.

“I’m not going to say it has [bottomed] for sure but I think it’s going to happen this year, if it hasn’t already happened,” Lowry said.

Lowry said the lithium narrative was extremely negative.

“I’ve been in business for 34 years and I’ve never seen sentiment this negative,” he said.

“And it doesn’t make sense because even at US$15,000 a tonne, historically, that’s a pretty high lithium price.”

Lowry admitted that he never expected lithium carbonate equivalent prices to reach US$40,000/t, let alone US$80,000/t.

But he pointed out that there wasn’t one single lithium price.

“The China spot price is not the lithium price. There are a range of lithium prices,” Lowry said.

“So, when you talk about lithium price bottoming, there’s going to be multiple bottoms because there’s multiple prices.”

Lowry said there was a misconception that he was a “wild lithium bull”.

“I think it’s pretty much a balanced market until the end of the decade where I think it’s going to be hard to get to three million tonnes of supply,” he said.

He noted that lithium projects were always late and the current fall in prices had disincentivised new production.

Even the biggest lithium bears at Goldman Sachs had forecast a deficit in 2030.

“I think there’s going to be market tightness and that’s going to put prices back up,” Lowry said.

“The real question is how high will price go? And I believe what the last cycle over the last 18 months has showed us is that there is swing supply, the lepidolite and the grinding up ceramic material and bringing in DSO from Africa.

“If you get if you haven’t another run up above US$40,000, all of that’s going to come back into the market and it’s going to come back in quickly.

“So, I think we have found that there’s a natural cap on a price run. I’m not saying prices will never go to US$80,000 again, but if it goes there it’s not going to be there for very long.”

Lowry said the most transparent reporter of lithium prices was Chilean producer SQM in its quarterly reports.

SQM reported a realised price of US$16 per kilogram of LCE in the December 2023 quarter and Lowry believes for the March quarter, it will be “at least US$16/kg”.

“My point is, if this is the low, it’s three times higher than the last low,” he said.

Canaccord forecasts LCE to average US$16/kg this year, while UBS is at US$15/kg and Macquarie is at US$20/kg.

“All things kind of lead to higher lithium prices – how high they go, I don’t know,” Lowry said.

“My thought is this year the price gets into the low US$20s, probably in Q4.”

Goldman is once again bearish at just US$11/kg.

“I don’t think it’s possible for them to be right,” Lowry said.

Lowry said there was a chance LCE could jump back to US$40,000-50,000/t but he hoped that didn’t happen.

“I’d rather see a stable environment.”


ASX Mining Stocks Regaining Momentum: Argonaut

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: The worst is over for mining stocks, according to Argonaut head of research Hayden Bairstow. By Kristie Batten

The year started poorly for equities but Bairstow told the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore that green shoots were emerging.

“We are seeing a little bit of a glimmer of hope,” he said.

Of the 50 or so presenting companies at the conference this week, roughly two thirds had experienced share price gains over the past month.

Bairstow said momentum was building and encouragingly, it was across most commodity groups.
“We’re seeing a decent recovery across the board,” he said.

“We are off the bottom and it’s all looking quite positive.”

Lithium was the worst-performing commodity in 2023, but Bairstow believes the price has “probably” bottomed.

Pilbara Minerals and Albemarle Corporation have auctioned lithium cargoes at prices above spot in recent weeks.

“Those sort of negative momentum stories are slowing and in fact, have turned to the positive,” Bairstow said.

Still, share prices of lithium producers had outperformed price.

While prices fell by more than 80% in 2023, Pilbara and Mineral Resources were down by around 20% each since the peak, while IGO and Arcadium Lithium were down 50%.

“The intriguing thing is the market at the big end is happy to look through the lithium price fall and the trough,” Bairstow said.

So far in 2024, the shining lights in the mining market have been uranium and gold.

“In terms of importance in the Australian market, gold really does dominate,” Bairstow said.

The merger of Newcrest Mining and Newmont Corporation late last year pushed the size of the ASX gold space to beyond A$100 billion.

Meanwhile, uranium prices rose to more than US$100 per pound in January, driving a strong performance in equities.

Bairstow said most uranium stocks were up 100-150% over the past 12 months.
“It’s been nothing short of extraordinary,” he said.



Palladium Making a Comeback: Chalice

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Chalice Mining managing director Alex Dorsch says palladium is a misunderstood critical mineral. By Kristie Batten

“Palladium is in a very weird position because people perceive it as a metal not needed for the energy transition,” Dorsch told the first day of the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore.

The key driver of palladium demand is plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and internal combustion engine vehicles.

Dorsch said consumers were favouring PHEVs over battery electric vehicles due to their lower cost, longer range and the lack of charging infrastructure.

While the sale of EVs in February were down 15% year-on-year, the sale of PHEVs jumped 25%.

“That’s not the narrative the media is telling you right now,” Dorsch said.

“There’s a perception that palladium demand is going to be destroyed by EVs but that is absolutely not true.”

Prices for palladium have been at cyclical lows but are creeping higher.

Palladium supply has been decreasing, while demand remains “robust”.

Chalice estimates about 50% of the global palladium market is underwater at current prices.

In 2022, 78% of global palladium supply came from Russia and South Africa.

Chalice’s proposed Gonneville project would be in the second quartile of global palladium projects on a cost basis.

“We’re going to out-compete South Africa,” Dorsch said.

Gonneville hosts a resource of 16 million ounces of palladium-platinum-gold, as well as 860,000 tonnes of nickel, 520,000t of copper and 83,000t of cobalt.

It is the world’s largest undeveloped palladium resource.

“The Western World has had a capex holiday and a discovery holiday,” Dorsch said.

Chalice is working on a update to its high-grade resource, after which it will update its scoping study.
Earlier this month, Argonaut head of research Hayden Bairstow pointed out that Chalice’s share price had underperformed against the rebounding palladium price.

“We retain our bullish outlook for palladium, with our base case assuming a further 6% in FY25 from current levels and circa 20-30% in the medium-term, with our long-term price US$1300/oz 22% above current spot prices,” he said.

On that basis, Bairstow upgraded his price target for Chalice by 9% to $2.40. Chalice shares closed at $1.03 on Tuesday.



‘Dangerous’: West Needs to Act on Battery Materials

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Henry Sanderson has warned Western nations to stay focused on critical minerals in order to challenge China’s dominance. By Kristie Batten

Sanderson, who is also the author of the book Volt Rush, told the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore today that countries including Australia, Canada, Indonesia and Argentina had become very important to the energy transition.

“But at the heart of this transition is China and the US and the relationship between these two superpowers,” he said.

“In many senses, a lot of these other countries are trying to find their place in this new cold war between China and the US.”

Canada has moved to ban Chinese investment in its lithium sector.

“But countries like Indonesia, Argentina, Chile, they’re much more open to Chinese investment and supply,” Sanderson said.

Early days

Sanderson said the energy transition was still in its early stages.

In 2023, battery demand was about 1 terawatt hour but is expected to reach 20Twh by 2050.

“And the implications on raw materials are really quite significant,” Sanderson said.

“With lithium, around 12 million tonnes, up from around 1 million tonnes at the moment.”

Benchmark’s rough calculation is that more than 300 new mines would be needed to meet demand by 2035.

Sanderson said there would be shortages of lithium, nickel and cobalt due to long lead times for mines.

“There’s a fundamental mismatch between the time it takes to develop mines and the other parts of the supply chain,” he said.

“In China, they can build chemical processing cathode and battery cell manufacturing in about a year, so they can really build these plants extremely quickly.

“But it’s the mines that is the sort of limiting factor in terms of the time it takes to develop them.”

‘Hostile world’

Sanderson said China was dominant on the processing side, cathode and anode production and battery cell production, but it was still quite reliant on imports for the raw materials.

“So if you think of China’s perspective, they need to secure these raw materials outside their borders and they face an increasingly hostile world,” he said.

“As I said, Canada has stopped Chinese companies from investing in lithium and we’re probably going to see more of the same, so they need these raw materials to feed the industrial sectors that provide the jobs and economic opportunity in China.

“So that’s why we see Chinese investment in African and Argentinean lithium etc and also the development of domestic lithium within China.

“China is really thinking of energy security, as is Europe and the US.”

On the flipside, Sanderson said where the West was vulnerable was on the processing side and the cathode and anode side.

Sanderson said China had “excessive dominance” in rare earths and graphite.

“China’s dominance is set to remain throughout this decade into the early part of next decade so I think if the West wants to de-risk, it should really focus on these areas where China’s dominance is 90-plus percent,” he said.

US ‘back in the game’

Sanderson said the US Inflation Reduction Act was a significant piece of legislation.

“And what we see in the IRA is very protectionist measures and very, very similar to how China has developed this clean energy industry so it’s like the US is trying to do a China,” he said.

Under the IRA, companies can receive grants or tax if critical minerals are mined or processed in the US.

“Foreign entities of concern cannot be involved in this supply chain – China being the most significant entity of concern,” Sanderson said.

But Sanderson pointed to the fact that Western companies like Albemarle Corporation and Arcadium Lithium could build downstream capacity in China for a 10th of the cost of the US.

“These IRA restrictions are coming in, but the costs are increasing for a lot of projects in the West. So how do we compete with China?”

Sanderson said innovation, hydropower and government subsidies could make the West more competitive.

But he warned it wasn’t as simple as it sounded.

“The Inflation Reduction Act caused a lot of backlash in Europe as a lot of investments that were going to be made in Europe have gone to the US, so there are tensions in this arrangement,” Sanderson said.

“If all these countries get together, there is enough to create new supply chains and really focus on the task.”

Sanderson said when it came to the energy transition, geopolitics was of high concern and were worth following closely.

“Because in Western democracies, we need to get buy-in from populations for this project of de-risking from China and building out the supply chains,” he said.

“Because China is so dominant, we’re already seeing voices coming out against EVs, because they say it will lead us to reliance on China, so we’re in a very dangerous area where, in the West, we need to maintain this vision and this strategy that we’ve embarked on.”



Mining Finance Model Needs a Shake-Up: Tribeca

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: The mining finance model needs to change if the industry is to compete with the technology sector, according to Tribeca Investment Partners Singapore’s Scott Clements. By Kristie Batten

Speaking on the first day of the Tribeca Future Facing Commodities Conference in Singapore, Clements said the three key investment themes for 2024 were the energy transition and decarbonisation, onshoring supply chains and artificial intelligence and big tech.

However, he pointed out that investment flows had been narrowly focused to date.

Clements said the thing that was being missed is that all three investment themes would create increased demand for power and for the raw materials that fed into supply chains.

He used copper as an example, with new demand for mined copper from artificial intelligence data centres set to surge at a time of declining production from operating projects.

“That supply gap in 2030 is about 7 million tonnes globally,” Clements said.

For perspective, the world’s largest copper mine, BHP and Rio Tinto’s Escondida in Chile, produces about 1Mt of copper per year.

“You potentially need seven of those,” Clements said.

Clements said the current extractive industry model was far too slow, citing S&P Global Intelligence figures stating that the average time from discovery to production for a deposit was 15.7 years.

“Any first-year finance student could tell you if you’re pitching a project that doesn’t achieve cashflow for 16 years, it’s a pretty hard sell,” he said.

Complicating matters is the challenged finance model for early-stage resource companies.
Clements said there needed to be a new model, closer to the venture capital model.

“In my view, that probably needs to be led by governments and end users,” he said.

“Governments need to lead the way.”

According to Clements, the most significant thing governments could do was streamline the permitting process.

He said there was too many conflicts between federal governments and state/territory/provincial governments in many cases.

“There also needs to be more accountability on timeliness,” Clements said, adding that could be achieved without compromising environmental regulations.

At the same time, Clements said miners could be doing a better job on public relations.

He said the public only really heard negative stories about mining and pointed to an ABC headline which stated that federal taxation revenue from mining covered the salaries of all of Australia’s teachers and police.

“Those things aren’t widely known,” he said.

Miners also needed to do more to appeal to young people, according to Clements.

“The industry is typically populated by white guys in their 50s,” he said.

There are still only two mining companies in the S&P 500 – Newmont Corporation and Freeport-McMoRan – and the market capitalisations of the 10 largest battery materials miners is still less than one 10th of the 10 largest tech companies.

Clements used Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart as examples of the value that could be generated by mining.

“It can generate extraordinary wealth,” he said.

A more recent example he used was Azure Minerals, which had risen 10 times since its appearance at the same conference in Singapore a year ago, thanks to its Andover lithium discovery.

Azure is set to be acquired by Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and Chile’s SQM for A$1.7 billion next month.

Azure managing director Tony Rovira made his final presentation for Azure at the conference today before he “rides off into the sunset”.

He said if someone had invested A$10,000 in Azure a year ago, it would be worth A$112,000 today.
“Azure Minerals is an example of what you can achieve if you invest in the right company,” Rovira said.