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IMARC 2023: China, US and Australia to Collaborate on Minerals

A delegate speaking during IMARC 2023 event

The 2023 International Mining and Resource Conference (IMARC) in Sydney has brought together three key players in the Mining sector, the US, China and Australia to collaborate on critical minerals that will be key to the future.

IMARC 2023   is an event that is running to November 2 that aims to bring together players in the Mining industry to collaborate, invest and innovate towards a sustainable future.

Australia is playing host to IMARC 2023 making it to have a major opportunity to contribute to the growing demand for critical minerals. This can be done by strengthening global supply chains and increasing collaboration at a strategic national level. A panel of international experts has told the opening session of IMARC 2023.

Key Panelists for discussion

The Panelists included leading industry experts from China’s mineral sector and senior United States Department of Energy and Department Defense officials.

They addressed a plenary session on Collaboration Between China and Australia Across the Mining Value Chain.  They also addressed on how to Identify Energy and Supply Chain Solutions with the United States.

Peter Arkell, Chairman of the Global Mining Association of China, probed panelists on the growing importance of critical minerals in the global economy and the pivotal role of nickel in shaping the future of the sector.

Also Read: IMARC 2023: Cloud Tech Leader, IFS Spotlights Mining’s ESG Evolution

Critical Minerals for the Future

At the same time. Ming Wong the Deputy General Manager of Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, highlighted the company’s extensive experience in critical minerals, including nickel. Nickel has lately seen substantial growth due to surging demand driven by battery technology.

“Traditionally, nickel was predominantly utilized in steel production. However, with demand now surging in critical minerals and the burgeoning battery market, nickel’s role has undergone a remarkable transformation.

 It now constitutes over 10 % of the total nickel supplies, a figure projected to surge to nearly 20% in the coming years. This shift has propelled the nickel stream with an impressive year-on-year growth rate of approximately 25%. This trajectory is poised to continue over the next decade, solidifying nickel’s pivotal position in the global minerals landscape,” Mr. Wong stated.

Likewise, Michael Ngo, Chief Commercial Officer of Yancoal Australia, shed light on the company’s substantial contributions to the Australian economy. He emphasized its diverse customer base across 13 countries and dispelling misconceptions about target markets.

 “We sell to all the traditional markets in Asia such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, other parts of Southeast Asia and India, China parts of Europe, even South America. So, our target customers really depend on the coal that we have. It really depends on the market dynamics and we adjust our strategy accordingly,” Ngo stated.

On the other hand, Mark Yumin Qiu, Managing Director & CEO of Hanking Australia, outlined the company’s focus on gold mining. He highlighted Australia’s immense potential for gold discoveries, showcasing their remarkable achievements in the industry.

“Australia holds immense potential for gold discoveries, a fact underscored by our team’s remarkable achievements. Over the past three years alone, we’ve uncovered an astounding four million ounces in gold reserves,”

 Additionally, Liangang Li, interim CEO of MMG emphasized China’s continued appetite for metals and minerals amidst global economic fluctuations. He attributed a significant portion of the demand to the country’s ambitious green energy and decarbonization initiatives.

Despite Australia’s challenging relations with China over recent years, Mr. Li believes Australia’s remains a trusted partner to do business with. He pointed out that MMG remains headquartered in Melbourne.

“We feel the warmth from the people of Australia and in particular, Melbourne. The pipeline of mining innovation and its incredible history provides us with something very special, that we cannot access from anywhere else. MMG has offices across the world. We, see Australia as the place to grow and therefore we are continuously seeking more opportunities here.” Li stated.

Also Read: 10 Years of IMARC: Australia Hosts Biggest Mining Event

US partnerships remain strong despite increasing uncertainty

IMARC 2023 has seen Giulia Siccardo, and Halimah Najieb-Locke, eplain how the United States is open for business. They further stated that the US is seeking partners to help transition the world’s largest economy. This will be in terms of next-generation equipment and technology.

The discussion comes following the Australian Prime Minister’s visit to Washington last week. After which he announced funding for critical minerals to double from $2 billion to $4 billion.

Ms. Siccardo said Mr Albanese’s meeting represented a foundational step towards deeper collaboration between the two countries.

“The meeting last week was certainly much more than symbolic. It was a clear indication that both of our countries are poised to make fully catalytic investments. These investememts will be from battery supply chains to critical mineral supply chains.”

As the US Presidential election looms just over a year away, both speakers emphasized the enduring bipartisan support for the importance of supply chain resilience and collaboration.

Ms Najieb-Locke underscored that this longstanding support, especially with Australia, has been in place for decades.

The panelists urged all attendees to consider how the US can assist with funding in any stage of a company’s product development cycle, no matter where in the world they are based.