Market Outlook
market outlok wa mining club

Market Outlook

What a start to the year for the WA Mining Club ! Hot on the heels of the annual president’s Cup Golf Day Friday week ago, we had a record crowd of well over 500 people attend our first luncheon of the year “2024 Market Outlook” in the spectacular River Room at Optus stadium.

An expert panel, expertly facilitated by Liam Twigger, took us on a tour de force of the main thematics currently impacting the market, from the current nickel market malaise, to energy policy and decarbonization, to alarming trends with respect to lengthening project approval  times.

After acknowledging the inspiring Peta Libby as the mining industry’s latest recipient of an Australia Day award, Twigger then introduced Peta’s daughter Courtney Libby  as a panelist from Cannacord Genuity. Noting how challenging it must have been for Courtney to flourish in the typically male dominated finance sector, it was great to see the confidence with which she acquitted herself on the panel, sharing opinions on market directions  and regaling us with statistics around the reduced number of IPO’s and the level and types of deals being done. The Metals Acquisition Corporation (MAC) listing by Mick McMullen was singled out for special mention as well as talk of increased merger activity, particularly in the gold sector.

Ed Ainscough of Lunnon Metals took us thorough his thoughts around the current state of the nickel market and poignantly pointed out that whilst the current nickel price had been impacted by recently elevated production out of Indonesia, the nickel price today is still above the price at which Lunnon Metals embarked upon their Kambalda foray, and that the lack of market support for nickel is probably more based around negative sentiment caused by media attention than economic fundamentals. This being their current reality, Lunnon will be switching focus to some of their gold prospects. If modern exploration is failing you, maybe approach Ed directly for contact details for the psychic reader who predicted this turn of events.

Andrew Grove, previously of millionaire’s club Macquarie has maintained his canny knack, climbing aboard uranium developer Aura Energy in the foothills of a uranium price boom. Andrew took the audience through the logic of why uranium is back in vogue as a legitimate decarbonised form of base load power generation. With plans underway for the construction of multiple dozens of reactors globally, against a backdrop of stagnant uranium supply response and extremely long approvals and construction lead times, it’s not difficult to make a case for uranium soaring far higher than the recent price surge.  Andrew noted that the demand for power generation is forecast to grow very strongly in the coming decades, and  with renewables unable to bridge the power gap alone it is clear that nuclear energy will inevitably form a larger proportion of the global energy supply  mix well into the future. Given that Australia hosts some of the largest uranium deposits globally, andrew made the case that it would be prudent for the Australian government to overturn it’s current ban on uranium mining to accelerate global decarbonsiation efforts.

When Twigger asked the panel to sum up, the unanimous themes were that uranium, gold and copper are likely to be the commodity price success stories of 2024, with very cautious optimism that the recent tumult in the nickel and lithium markets is likely to have bottomed out and we can maybe look forward to more stable and positive pricing signals  in nickel and lithium.

Thanks again to all who attended that make the WA Mining Club lunches the successful events that they are.

See you all at the next luncheon on Thu 21 March as we find out from the one and only David Flanagan what he’s been up to lately.

Check out the photos here