Column: World needs battery metals, but miners foiled by prices, activists – by Clyde Russell (Reuters – May 11, 2023)

SINGAPORE, May 11 (Reuters) – If the global energy transition is to be delivered in the coming decades, the mining industry believes there is one certainty. They will need to massively boost output of metals.

But they are also convinced that the current model for doing this is largely broken, and miners will, even with the best of intentions, struggle to produce enough copper and lithium and other metals essential to ending the dominance of fossil fuels.

The old model of bringing mines to production was largely driven by small, junior mining companies raising capital, proving up a resource, and then raising more capital to move through permitting and feasibility.

Finally, they would either raise more money to build a mine, or be swallowed up by a larger miner with the resources to build and operate a mine. But junior miners and private equity investors at this week’s Mining Investment Asia conference in Singapore said that this method of taking a resource to metal production is increasingly difficult to achieve.

For the rest of this column: