How WA mining can create a bright road ahead for future generations FY23/24 critical minerals

child looking ahead

As a key natural resources contributor in a world transitioning to net zero carbon position, Western Australia’s mining industry is in an enviable position to build on its reputation as a global mining hub.

The Australian mining sector as a whole contributed close to 14% of Australia’s GDP in FY23 with a record $460 billion in earnings for Australian exports of resources and energy commodities in FY23. This was fuelled by the continuing Russian and Ukrainian conflict driving commodity prices. Iron ore and gold projects strongly support our state’s mining industry which continues to be the major resources contributor to our national GDP.

More than ever, FY23 has seen the race for key critical minerals advance further in WA, with strong investment and activity for lithium, nickel, manganese and rare earth projects. We expect this activity and investment to increase over FY24 despite continued global market uncertainty. The resource for these critical minerals has always been sitting in the ground and now is the time for WA to be further globally recognised as not only a leader in the mining sector but as an important contributor to achieving net zero carbon targets through sustainable mining of critical minerals.

While Australia’s pockets of trade issues with China are well known, our resources commodities such as iron ore remain an integral export to China. Critical minerals are in high demand too with 96% of Australia’s spodumene (lithium) production being exported to China in FY22. This is a staggering statistic considering Australia produces 50% of spodumene global extraction. Importantly as we transition to a net zero carbon future, the global battery market demand has increased by 50% yearly growth over the past 5 years. Quite pleasingly we have seen an estimated 86% drop in battery cell costs over the past decade, pushing forward the concept of renewable energy as a viable solution for the planet.

Western Australia is recognised as one of the world’s richest mining environments. But are we doing enough to take advantage of this, not just in the immediate term, but for future generations?

We ask for two reasons, firstly, how will we create sustainable environmentally smart mining operations and secondly, will we have sustainable job opportunities in the industry for future generations of workers (including our children)?

WA is one of the world’s most stable and diverse mining hubs underpinned by a strong regulatory environment, the capability of our skilled workforce and ever developing mining technologies.

The challenge is to leverage off these strengths to work smarter, not necessarily harder. As we enter an era of new opportunities in mining in Western Australia, let’s grab every chance to brighten the road ahead for our children.

The Auxilium Partners Mining Team is excited to be working with new and existing mining clients to maximise potential for their projects and support them through all mining cycles.
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About Auxilium Partners

Auxilium Partners is a WA owned and operated insolvency, forensic accounting and mining advisory firm based in West Perth.

Our partners Bob Jacobs and Andrew Smith are Registered Liquidators with ASIC and Paul Cockburn is a Certified Fraud Examiner.

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