The Growing Gap: Supply and Demand of Energy Transition Metals
The Growing Gap: Supply and Demand of Energy Transition Metals

The Growing Gap: Supply and Demand of Energy Transition Metals

The WA Mining Club’s recent monthly luncheon was held in the Riverside Room at Optus Stadium. The topic was ‘The Growing Gap: Supply and Demand of Energy Transition Metals’ , with the invited panelists;

  • Liam Twigger – Deputy Chair and Executive Director, Argonaut 
  • Chris Reed – MD, Neometals 
  • Iggy Tan – MD, Altech Batteries 
  • David English – COO, Technology Metals Australia 

The panel engaged our members and guests with a frank, honest and realistic discussion that universally criticised and implored the government, both Federal and State, to do more to support our critical minerals industry.  The panel unanimously agree that we need to have a nuclear transition. 

Liam Twigger stated ”The US government injected US$500b into the Inflation Reduction Act for Critical Mineral production the US, which equates to $1500 per capita.  The Australian government has committed (via the NAIF) a mere $500m which equates to $25 per capita, to which Liam Twigger quipped ‘It’s worth 2 ice creams and a bottle of Coke”. There is no way we can compete. We need to do more.” 

”A brand new EV contributes up to 25t of carbon compared to an ICE at around 5t. It would take 10 years to see the benefit of an EV”. 

Chris Reed mentioned that if nuclear is safe for our submariners, then it must be safe for all Australians. He also discussed how it hasn’t gotten any easy to bring a new mine on in the last 20 years with regulatory and permitting requirements getting harder and more complex. 

”Australia now has a mandate to go green” was a clear point from David English. He stated that Vanadium did not make it onto the Critical Minerals list and does not have a trading platform. ”It makes offtake agreements more important in terms of project funding”. Iggy Tan spoke about downstream processing and how it’s good to see some new downstream projects by Albemarle and Tianqi. 

It was evident from all panellists that for the world to transition to a green economy, mining critical minerals is essential. Without critical minerals we cannot produce the batteries and technology we need to hit the carbon neutral goals.