Energy transformation supply constraints and ambitious net zero targets to dominate this year’s International Mining and Resources

Partners in Performance

At a time of inconceivable demand curves for critical minerals, supply constraints and the practicalities of transitioning to decarbonisation and electrification of energy supply and use will dominate proceedings at this year’s International Minerals and Resources Conference in Sydney, from 2-4 November.

Chairman of Partners in Performance, Mitchell H Hooke AM, who is the former CEO of Minerals Council of Australia, will Chair a Session on the first day, tasked with examining the mining and resources industry’s global challenges and opportunities.

Mr Hooke said: “I expect the conference to fully address the challenges of reconciling growth imperatives and commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions with realistic feasibility.

“The mining industry has been on a sustainable development path since the turn of the century, long before Wall Street discovered ESG. However, right now companies are grappling with the dual imperatives of achieving 2030 emissions reduction targets, and growing mineral supply accounting for the practical realities of today’s technologies and operating constraints, and tomorrow’s possibilities.

“Mining and minerals processing are asset rich, capital-intensive, long-term investment businesses which require decisions on a ‘no regrets basis’, capturing what we can do now with a view to what’s likely feasible in the future.”

Mr Hooke explains: “Partners in Performance is right into this – we are working with companies achieving a lot in reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and setting up for the relatively more difficult challenge in achieving Scope 3 emissions reductions across the whole value chain.

“Companies and their representative organisations are fully aware of the extent of current supply constraints, and what’s needed to remedy them on a sustainable footing. This is what economists are calling ‘supply inelasticity to growing demand’.

“This is a complex of competing factors, all of which I expect to be well and truly explored at IMARC, in concert with industry leaders, State and Federal Ministers, regulators, and visiting international delegations.”

Mr Hooke said, “among the critical topics to be discussed at this international event, I expect the focus to be:

  • Incentive prices are still below the ‘risk reward’ equation needed to spur new greenfields projects. This is exacerbated by inflation, eroding confidence in net present value and internal rate of return calculations, and payback estimates.

  • Access to capital is still tight for startups – equity markets’ antipathy toward the mining sector remains a legacy factor. ASX companies trading at EBITDA multiples are well south of comparable industrial companies and IT stocks.

  • Skills shortages across the board, including sectors such as mining and supporting equipment, technology and services providers, and infrastructure

  • Regulatory requirements to permit exploration and mining remain cumbersome, notwithstanding the industry’s commitment to high environmental and social impact standards

  • Social license to operate in local communities is increasingly important to earn, and maintain

  • Critical minerals supply chain logistics – pertaining to the mining industry’s supply of raw materials, but also the processed product supply chain of critical minerals, and the integration and diversification of this. The latter of which is vital to the decarbonisation, and electrification, of energy supply and use.

  • Innovative technologies which transcend the traditional disciplines of engineering, metallurgy and earth resources, such as machine learning, AI, automation and robotics as well as descriptive, real time and predictive data analytics. These digital technologies are rapidly evolving.”

Mr Hooke added: “The minerals industry is keenly aware of its stewardship responsibilities in protecting the environment, and this is a pivotal moment in focussing on commitments, progress, capacity constraints, and technological and operating innovation, to that end.”


/Public Release.