• First New World Metals roadshow series underway with Perth conference
  • Ballooning demand for key metals expected, according to Argonaut’s Eddie Rigg
  • Lithium play PLS outshines entire ASX gold sector less Newcrest in June quarter

An apt synergy between event and subject matter, Vertical Events RIU’s esteemed New World Metals conference hits the road for the first time in 2022 – with its expansion mirroring the world’s growing appetite for the metals of the future.

The New World Metals Investment Series, as it is now known, opened in Perth’s Hyatt Regency this morning to a packed room of investors, company representatives, media and delegates looking to tap the potential of the electric age.

That potential is huge, according to keynote speaker and Argonaut executive chairman Eddie Rigg.

Rigg said while fossil fuels had dominated the high performing stock landscape in 2022 out of necessity – people need to keep their lights on – the long-term potential of the commodities in focus at New World was on another level.

“We all understand the metal intensity going into energy delivery in the new age is very different,” he said.

“We’re seeing situations where there’s nine times more minerals required to do a wind farm than there is to do an equivalent gas-fired power station.

“Just in cars, it’s really simple, in cars – you have to use three times more copper in an EV than you would have to in an internal combustion engine car.”

Argonaut’s figures, sourced from the International Energy Association’s The Role of Critical Metals in Clean Energy Transition report, highlight the opportunity for miners in EVs.

Compared with petrol cars, EVs require:

  • 3x more copper
  • 9x more lithium
  • 40x more nickel
  • 2x more manganese
  • 13x more cobalt
  • 66x more graphite

Keep in mind that EVs are just one element of the world’s electrification ambition.

There’s also opportunity in supply diversification, with geopolitical tensions highlighting the risk posed by putting all your supply eggs in one economic powerhouse of a basket.

“On raw materials, there’s a real warning here in terms of security of demand and supply chain diversity,” Rigg said.

“It’s something you’re seeing out of countries like the US and in Europe – they’re very concerned that the supply of these energy transition minerals is much more concentrated than oil and gas is.

“People are always worried about oil and gas concentration, but it’s nothing like what the energy transition metal concentration is.”

Rigg pointed to WA lithium play Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), which last quarter made more money than the all ASX listed gold stocks combined outside of Newcrest (ASX:NCM), as an example of the sector’s immense potential.

Not a bad time to hold a future-focused conference, and the east coast will soon get its first taste of New World action as well.

Taking it national

In a move which could well mirror the Fremantle Dockers’ march towards a first AFL Premiership, Vertical will take this show on the road to Sydney’s Fullerton Hotel on September 20, and Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt on September 22.

Unlike the Dockers, who will have to overcome the Swans a series of hurdles to make that dream a reality, New World’s roadshow is very much set and the team is raring to go.

“The future demand for base metals is really strong, Eddie’s point about Pilbara Minerals making more money last quarter than all the gold companies put together is extremely exciting,” Vertical Events business development manager Jaxon Crabb said.

“You look at all the components associated with future-facing metals – it includes rare earths, manganese, graphite, base metals – it’s a great opportunity across such a diverse range of commodities.

“At other moments in history, we’ve seen price rises contribute to commodity attractiveness. The gold price rise was good for gold. When iron ore went through the roof that was just iron ore.

“What we have here is a lot of commodities which stand to benefit.

“From a WA perspective, our great state has so many opportunities – you could almost build an electric car with all the minerals being West Australian.

“We’re up and about, it’s a great time for the New World Metals Investment Series.”

Companies presenting at the Perth leg of New World Metals 2022 include lithium plays such as Neometals (ASX:NMT), Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN), Infinity Lithium Corporation (ASX:INF), Latin Resources (ASX:LRS)and Green Technology Metals (ASX:GT1).

Rare earths explorers include RareX (ASX:REE), ABx Group (ASX:ABX), PVW Resources (ASX:PVW) and Meeka Metals (ASX:MEK), while Podium Minerals (ASX:POD) will speak on platinum group metals, Venture Metals (ASX:VMS) on its tin interests and Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) on nickel.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Galan Lithium, Infinity Lithium, Latin Resources, RareX, PVW, Meeka, Podium, Venture and Azure are Stockhead clients, they did not sponsor this story.