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RIU Explorers 2023 wraps at the Esplanade

17 February 2023 10:01

The RIU Explorers Conference has wrapped up its 2023 iteration at Fremantle’s Esplanade Hotel, with plenty of full houses as miners made their pitch on exploration opportunities, investors weighed where to park their money, and everyone tuned in to listen on what a reemerging China means for the resources industry.

Hosted by Vertical Events, what has quickly become the nation’s premier junior resources event held no less 130 exhibitors and 90 presentations connecting miners with money across three days.

The event launched with OZ Minerals taking home the Craig Oliver award, the prize for excellence across all areas to remember the man who exemplified that trait as it closes in on a takeover by BHP.

When it came to China, ANZ senior commodity strategist and keynote speaker Daniel Hynes said the industry superpower’s reopening was already showing positive signs for commodities, with a renewable energy drive creating strong future demand for copper as the base metal led its sector and stockpiles on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell for the first time in two months.

Battery metals were bound to be a focus, and as the world grapples with supply, CSA Global Mining Industry Consultants associate partner Ian Stockton said we would not be able to recycle our way out of shortage and instead would need exploration to meet demand.

“Existing lithium production is limited to a few mines that previously produced specialty metals, meaning lithium production needs to catch up with current demand, which can only happen through exploration,” he said.

And he said there was more than one reason lithium exploration would continue to excite.

“Exploration for LCT pegmatites is different to other booms as the knowledge base is new to the broader exploration community therefore, the learning curve for geologists in the field is steeper, which is also quite exciting.”

As global economies move towards new energy sources to meet emissions targets, one thing is certainly clear — the world needs more metals and more mining to power the transition and junior exploration will be the key to making it.

Next on the Vertical Events calendar is the Resource Connect Asia Future Facing Commodities conference in early April, connecting mining and exploration with ESG from the Raffles City Convention Centre at Singapore’s Fairmont Hotel.

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