Critical minerals stocks are now worth more than gold – by Peter Ker and Vesna Poljak (Australian Financial Review – June 13, 2023)

Tony Rovira was about to board a plane from Perth to Melbourne when laboratory tests of eight lithium drill holes sent shares in his company, Azure Minerals, soaring more than 40 per cent. “I will definitely have a glass of champagne on the plane to celebrate the great work of our exploration teams,” he told The Australian Financial Review from Perth Airport on Tuesday.

They can afford the expensive champagne in Perth these days; the city is at the epicentre of a boom that has lifted the value of major, ASX-listed critical minerals companies to $86.2 billion from $8.6 billion in the past decade.

That basket of 33 major ASX-listed, critical mineral stocks is now more valuable than the 25 companies that comprise the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold Index, which was worth $86.1 billion on Tuesday.

Minerals such as lithium, rare earths, graphite and nickel have surged into focus for investors in the past 10 years as governments declared them “critical” to decarbonisation efforts and national security.

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