At Mines and Money Asia, a poll of delegates revealed the top 3 favoured commodities to be:
1 – copper
2 – nickel
3 - gold
Talking to delegates, their interest in copper is for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is a significant shortage of Tier 1 copper discoveries. Secondly, copper is not easily substitutable with other commodities. Thirdly, copper is a smart way to play the EV investment thesis. The average EV has 73kg of copper not 25kg. Finally, China’s demand for copper is still expected to increase at a rate of 10% per annum. When I was at PDAC recently, it was of little surprise that one of the best attended sessions was on the Tethyan Belt.
Closely following copper was nickel. The main opportunity for nickel investors I spoke to is the shortage of mines that can produce battery grade nickel. Nickel is of course both a critical component of both NMA and NMC lithium-ion batteries.
Unsurprising gold came third in our poll. Most investors agree that the price of gold will end the year higher. There is also a lot of interest in Australian gold miners, helped by the Australian dollar. Lastly, it has been 10 years since the Global Finance Crisis. With another one surely due soon, gold is still perceived as a great store of value in times of economic uncertainty.