The panel starts with a discussion around the record pricing we’ve seen in 2021 for many of the base metals. Panellists note the strong demand environment, driven by economic stimulus and synchronous global growth that we continue to see as we head into the latter half of the year. On the supply side, the shutdowns in 2020 impacted many existing projects but as we move into the second half of 2021, the panellists expect to see supply starting to come through.
Looking at whether this pricing is representative of the start of a supercycle, panellists discuss their thoughts on where the broader commodities industry stands at present. The panel looks at the discourse around the energy transition and the strong battery metals theme we have this year. We’re seeing a change in the types of metals that the world is looking for, and this is being accelerated by stimulus programs around the world.
The panel also looks at the impact of a lack of new discoveries in recent years, noting the risk in investing in exploration that has made companies reluctant to invest. Panellists also discuss substitution, thrifting of metals, and recycling as factors helping supply.
With the energy transition/decarbonization, the mining industry is under rising pressure to produce greener products. Panellists discuss routes to green metals and how the industry can work together to achieve this across the base metals spectrum.
Finally, the panel closes with a look at the growing focus on ESG within the industry, impacts they’re seeing and expectations moving forward.
Jim Copland, Executive Director, Small Caps, IFM Investors
Gillian Moncur, Head of Copper Research, Wood Mackenzie