Mining Disruptors Break Nexus with GDP
The widening array of connections to disruptive technologies was one theme evident among the resources companies showcased at the annual Melbourne Resources Roundup this week. Lithium Australia, for example, is pioneering a new processing route to extract lithium carbonate for use in batteries from ore previously thought impossible to treat. This threatens to turn the lithium market balance on its head. Altech Chemicals plans to produce high quality alumina to make sapphire glass for the burgeoning electronic device market. Yellow Rock Resources intends to develop a vanadium mine in Western Australia. Steel production provides a long-established use for the metal but the size of the market could be multiplied as vanadium redox storage batteries are more widely adopted. Slightly adjacent to this theme is the positioning of Potash West as a multi-decade producer of agricultural fertiliser materials for sale within the Asian region. All these companies offer a lesser reliance on Chinese GDP as a value driver than producers of traditional metals - an important consideration in structuring a diversified resources portfolio for the 2010s and beyond.
John Robertson is Chief Investment Strategist for PortfolioDirect a provider of resource sector investment stock ratings and portfolio strategies for mining and oil and gas investors. He has worked as a policy economist, corporate business...
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