Critical minerals explorers connect the dots to investment opportunity

Click here to view photos from the QE-Connect event

Vital conversations on maximising Queensland’s investment potential through development of Queensland’s burgeoning critical minerals industry are on the agenda today at an inaugural mining and exploration event run by the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) – QE Connect Lunch Series. 

QEC Chair Kim Wainwright said the luncheon brings together experts from across government, finance, exploration and mining to discuss the drivers developing Queensland’s new economy minerals. 

“Queensland has mineral prospects that many other resources jurisdictions around the world can only dream of. We have a diverse range of these new-economy minerals with the advantage that the majority are concentrated in the north-west and north-east of the state,” Ms Wainwright said. 

“So, it’s an exciting time to be in the exploration and mining sector, based on Queensland’s vast potential to provide the critical minerals and rare earths needed to manufacture everyday items such as smart phones, and renewable energy products such as wind turbines, electric cars, solar panels and batteries. 

“Queensland wants to explore, mine and process its resources here in Australia and now is the time to establish relationships to make this happen. 

“The economic conditions to finance new economy minerals projects are ideal, with last month’s ABS data confirming exploration spending at its highest in six years, now at $708 million per annum,” Ms Wainwright said. 

Roger Leaning, Director at retail stockbroking and wealth management firm Morgans Financial agreed, stating the time to invest is now. 

“Since Covid began, Morgans Financial has raised approximately $1bn in capital over the past 18 months with three-quarters directly resource related and one-quarter being resources or mining services. 

“One third of these companies were offered to the Australian Stock Exchange market for the first time via an initial public offering (IPO), which is a great of show of the investment potential in resources right now. 

“The resources sector continues to be very active and we continue to work with several resources companies seeking to raise capital during the balance of this calendar year,” Mr Leaning said. 

Brisbane based battery materials producer, Pure Battery Technologies CEO Bjorn Zikarsky said the company was happy to share its experiences as an emerging and innovative critical mineral processer with industry peers.  

“Government support in these early stages of supply chain entry is critical to validate new and time sensitive innovations,” Mr Zikarsky said.   

“Waiting, especially in critical minerals, is a risky approach and only further endorses the ‘dig to ship’ mentality.  

“We need to double down and incentivise our mining companies and processing innovators to stay onshore,” Mr Zikarsky said. 

Vecco Group CEO Thomas Northcott said the Brisbane company is developing an integrated battery metals mining operation and will commence production of vanadium battery electrolyte in 2022 to support the growing Australian medium duration battery storage market.  

“There is a huge addressable market locally in Australia and we are seeing this sector move quickly in China and Europe with multiple new large-scale vanadium batteries including VRB Energy’s recently announced 500MWh system.  

“We have an opportunity to create a world-class integrated supply chain where we mine and manufacture vanadium batteries right here in Queensland at a lower cost than importing from Asia. This means more jobs in regional Queensland,” Mr Northcott said. 

The QEC is the exploration arm of the Queensland Resources Council and focuses on investment attraction and promotion of the exploration industry. 

Media contact: Rachel Stewart 0408 130 767

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