Australia’s metals and rare minerals will see a high demand in future as the government plans launching many large-scale renewable energy projects and come close to realizing its 2020 energy target.
As the world battles on, on which side of climate change does Australia stand, the internal work towards renewable energy generation and projects march ahead, unobstructed. With the involvement and dedication shown by domestic energy suppliers and enterprises and with the support of respective state government, Australia is coming significantly close to achieving its Paris Accord target to be achieved by 2020.
With large scale and small-scale renewable energy targets already underway in full swing, there is a renewed demand for zinc, cobalt, copper and rare earth minerals that form the basic constituents of solar and wind farms and batteries. This need also interjects fossil fuels and thermal coal mining. All these trends and transformations show an upwardly mobile curve for the demand of these minerals but their prices do not reflect the market prediction.
Copper prices have fallen by 14% over the past six months, with zinc dropping 24%. Analysts hold the international market as the catalysts for this, with an expert stating, “Certainly for those metals, the long-term trends around demand are quite positive. But in the shorter term, we’re seeing this concern for our economic growth driven globally by the trade war between US and China”.
Cobalt metal is conjectured to take the top spot as the demand for rechargeable batteries in the coming years will increase. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), produces 70 per cent of the world’s cobalt output. However, with the second largest resource base in cobalt after DRC, the metal opens doors to new opportunities in medium and large-scale projects.
Many start-up mining companies have begun exploration and drilling for cobalt across Queensland. High-grade copper-cobalt ores have been drilled for exploration north-west of Mount Isa, with seismic surveys at a Walford Creek project showing cobalt as high enough exporting grade. Cobalt prices have increased by 30% following the announcement of Glencore mining shutting down in DRC.