On Wednesday 10 July, ANZ, together with the Chamber, hosted the Natural Resources and Energy Opportunities in Australia event at the Peninsula Hotel. The event provided an overview of the current Australian resources market, highlighted past trends and gave predictions relating to the continued global use of Australian resources. The event also highlighted the 50th anniversary of ANZ in Japan and emphasised the strong relationship that ANZ has with Japanese companies looking to invest in Australia. Over 80 guests attended the event. After opening remarks by the ANZ Country Head Japan, Mr Mitchell Mason and ANZCCJ Co-Vice Chair, Mr Noboru Yamaji, various directors from ANZ and Wood Mackenzie outlined different aspects of the industry. Translation for all speakers in the event was provided in both English and Japanese.
The conference began with an outlook on the global supply and demand of oil, including the rise of electric vehicles and climate regulation in the automotive industry. It was explained how the eventual transition away from oil will result in an increase in the need for minerals such as nickel, cobalt and lithium – all of which can be found commercially in Australia. LNG is also expected to have a 5% per annum growth rate. Despite existing challenges in the industry, from 2021 the LNG price will rise notably, and opportunity still exists in the sector for agile companies and joint ventures.
It was noted that countries are still expanding despite the trade war darkening the commodities market. Chinese construction and steel production remains strong and reliant on Australian iron ore and coking coal imports. Copper supply also continues to lag demand and will be incredibly important in the production of electric vehicles. It is estimated that electric vehicles will require approximately seven times more copper than standard petrol dependent vehicles.
Australia is also strategically well placed for lithium investment. Australia accounts for 45% of lithium production in the form of hard rock spodumene. This is advantageous to Australia as spodumene is 15% cheaper to convert than brine. Other hard rock investment opportunities are also open to companies that wish to form a joint venture with FMG in their high-grade “Iron Bridge” magnetite project in Pilbara, Western Australia.
It was explained that further opportunities exist for companies to invest in creating new infrastructure for Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) – one of the largest connected power grids in the world. As Australia’s older coal generators become retired over the next few decades there will be an increased need for solar, wind and battery storage. ANZ is particularly invested in the promotion of renewables, and in 2018 made its first corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to demonstrate ANZ’s commitment to the environment. ANZ stressed that oil, gas, minerals and renewables can be interlinked. Japanese investment in hydrogen to drive Australia’s next resource boom was also explored.
The conference concluded with the opportunity for attendees to ask questions and socialise over networking drinks.
Thank you to ANZ for hosting the informative seminar and to the Peninsula hotel for their warm hospitality.