Five charts ask if mining is in a supercycle, one screams no – by Frik Els ( – December 9, 2021)

COP26’s climate goals necessitate massive new investments in mining, but how does today’s boom stack up to the aughts? Supercycle or no? is a favourite parlour game in mining and there is no shortage of opinions and arguments on whether the industry can party like it’s the aughts or if the mid-2010 hangover is just around the corner.

The latest entry in the genre is by Julian Kettle, senior VP and vice chair of Woodmac’s metals and mining business (read it here). Kettle’s first exhibit in Supercycle demand. Are we there yet? would be rather dispiriting if you’re in the bull camp. (A bull? Me?)

Bar cobalt and nickel, Woodmac’s demand growth projections for this cycle are noticeably lower than during the five-year period between 2003 and 2007 when the great sucking sound from the East was getting louder and louder.

We’ll get there EVentually

Even salt du jour, lithium, is going to be less boomy over the next five years than the early 2000s, when Tesla wasn’t even a twinkle in Musk’s eye, Nokia was the mobile phone company of the future and Volkswagen livestreaming a battery day would’ve seemed as silly as, you know, Volkswagen livestreaming a battery day.

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