If you’re curious about the Australia investing buzz that’s been happening in recent years, we’ve got a quick summary of how it started and where it’s going.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen some of the recent buzz around Australia as a destination for resource investment.

Australia ranks as the 13th largest economy in the world, due in no small part to its mineral largess. Between 2010 to 2020, mining contributed 10.4 percent to Australia’s economy, translating to a gross domestic product of AU$202 billion.

The country is a global mining hotspot as its abundant natural resources and government incentive programs have attracted some of the biggest names in the mining industry, BHP (ASX:BHP,LSE:BHP,NYSE:BHP), including the world’s largest mining company, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM).

Nearly half are the companies trading on the Sydney-based Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) — the primary stock exchange in Australia — are listed in the basic materials and energy sectors.

The state of Western Australia is one of the world’s premiere mining jurisdictions, coming in 4th after Nevada, Arizona and Saskatechewan. According to the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2020, three other Western states and territories rank in the top 20 mining jurisdictions in the world: South Australia (seventh), Queensland (16th) and the Northern Territory (19th).

Australia has been a plentiful provider across a number of commodities in the resource investment space for over a century; if you’re curious about exploring it for yourself, here’s a quick guide on the origins of the country’s resource industry, current landscape for mining investment and future opportunities.

Australia investing: The beginning

European settlers first arrived in Australia in the 1780s, and by the 1790s whale oil and baleen (whalebone) had become the colony’s first major exports.

When the 1820s rolled around, the economy grew exponentially through fine wool production. By the 1830s, wool overtook whale oil as the colony’s biggest export, with New South Wales replacing Germany as Britain’s primary supplier by 1850.

1851 saw the beginning of a major gold rush in Australia, causing the area’s population to surge from 430,000 to 1.7 million by 1871. In 1901, Australia’s first federal government was formed, and for the next 30 years, agricultural goods remained one of the country’s biggest exports, with wheat and dairy products being added to the roster.

The UK was Australia’s biggest export destination by the early 1960s, but it had begun to enhance its relationship with its European neighbors. At the same time, Australia was working to strengthen its ties with Asia, and by 1966/1967 Japan had become the country’s biggest export destination.

While Australia’s economic roots were formed in the agricultural sector, the 1970s brought a surge of mineral and fuel exports, driven specifically by iron ore and coal.

Fast forward to 2013/2014, and iron ore, coal and natural gas had become the country’s top three exports, with rural commodities falling to the wayside.

During this transitional period, Australia’s trading relationship with the UK further waned as Japan and China became the country’s two primary export destinations. China eventually overtook Japan as Australia’s leading export partner in 2009/2010, and according to a report from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the UK only made up 1.4 percent of Australia’s exports by 2013/2014.

Australia investing: Current opportunities

Today, Australia’s mining industry is comprised of more than 350 mines and the production of 19 different mineral commodities. Gold mines are the most common operations, and according to the US Geological Survey, the country is the world’s second largest gold producer. While Australia’s major gold rush took place over a century and a half ago, current industry trends show that there is still much to be explored, discovered and put towards modern-day industries and technologies. There are number of gold investment opportunities discussed in INN’s article on the Best Gold Stocks on the ASX.

Along with precious metals, Australia’s most valuable exports also include base metals, battery metals and energy resources. The country leads the world in iron production, and is also an important source of global aluminum, nickel and copper supply.

Western Australia is a key nickel mining jurisdiction within Australia, and accounts for 90 percent of the country’s economic reserves of the metal. BHP and Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) both have nickel mining operations in the state. Some of the other important nickel mining stocks for investors to watch include IGO (ASX:IGO) and Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR). Investors interested in learning more about nickel opportunities should check out INN’s Nickel Stocks in Western Australia.

Australia is second only to Chile when it comes to copper reserves and the red metal reigns supreme in the South Australia, home to the world’s fourth largest copper-producing mine, BHP’s Olympic Dam. Other nickel operations in South Australia are OZ Minerals’ (ASX:OZL,OTC Pink:OZMLF) Prominent Hill and Carapateena mines. INN’s Copper Stocks in South Australia and Copper in Australia offers investors further insight.

Australia is also abundant in energy resources such natural gas and uranium. With more than a dozen basins that yield natural gas, Australia hosts significant natural gas reserves.Natural gas is the country’s third most valuable resource export, as per the most recent data from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), earning more than AU$49 billion for the economy. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Shell (AMS:RDSA) are the biggest natural gas producers in the country.

Uranium mining in Australia is another important sector of the country’s resource industry. The country is the third largest uranium producer globally and hosts more than one-quarter of the world’s known uranium resources. Both of the country’s two producing uranium mines are in South Australia: BHP’s Olympic Dam mine, the largest-known uranium deposit in the world, and the Four Mile mine, owned by Quasar Resources.

In recent years, Australia has also come to dominate the global lithium industry and is well positioned to capitalize on the rapidly growing electric vehicle market. Increased demand for lithium has proved price positive for ASX-listed lithium stocks. The nation ranks second in the world for lithium reserves behind Chile, but when it comes to annual lithium production Australia’s output is more than double that of the South American country.

Perth-based Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) has a few hard-rock lithium projects in Western Australia, including Mount Marion and Wodgina. The Mount Marion lithium project is jointly owned with top lithium producer Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium (OTC Pink:GNENF,SZSE:002460). Considered the world’s largest hard-rock lithium deposit, the Wodgina lithium project is a joint venture with top producer Albemarle (NYSE:ALB).

Another globally significant hard-rock lithium resource is Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project. The company declared commercial production at Pilgangoora in April 2019. One of the most established lithium producing mines in Australia is Galaxy Resources’(ASX:GXY) Mount Cattlin mine in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia.

Australia’s largest lithium mine is Greenbushes, majority controlled by China’s Tianqi Lithium (SZSE:002466) the largest hard-rock lithium miner in the world. Tianqi owns a 51 percent stake in Talison Lithium, which operates the mine, while Albemarle owns a 49 percent stake in Talison via its acquisition of Rockwood Holdings.

Rare earths is another important commodity segment for 21st century technology and Australia is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities in this market. The country holds the sixth largest-known rare earths reserves in the world, and rare earths production in Australia has been rising over the last few years.

Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU) opened Australia’s first heavy rare earths (HRE) mine in 2018, producing HRE products such as dysprosium which is used in permanent magnets technology. Lynas (ASX:LYC,OTC Pink:LYSCF) operates the Mount Weld mine and concentration plant in Western Australia, and the company recently announced plans to boost production to 10,500 tonnes per year of neodymium-praseodymium products by 2025.

Other companies with rare earths projects in the country include Australian Strategic Metals’ (ASX:ASM) Dubbo project in Central New South Wales, Arafura Resources’ (ASX:ARU,OTC Pink:ARAFF) Nolans project in the Northern Territory as well as Hastings Technology Metals’ (ASX:HAS) Yangibana project in Western Australia.

Australia investing: Investor takeaway

Australia’s abundant natural resources, close proximity to export partners, top-notch mining jurisdictions and plethora of publicly-traded mining companies makes the country uniquely positioned to be a leader in the global economy of the 21st century. Investors with an eye on lucrative opportunities in the resource sector would do well to consider Australian mining stocks and further educate themselves about the Australian Mining Outlook.

As a resources-intensive economy, the Australian dollar moves with the commodities that the country exports. Investors that play the Australian markets should also have an understanding of how the Australian dollar impacts mining companies and look to where the AUD to USD conversion rate is trending.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Hastings Technology Metals Ltd Onslow Selected for Yangibana RE Hydrometallurgical Plant

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Australia’s next rare earths producer, Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:HAS) (FRA:5AM) is pleased to announce that it has received conditional approval from the WA Government to develop the Yangibana Rare Earths Project’s (Yangibana) hydrometallurgical plant in the Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Area (ANSIA), near Onslow on the Pilbara coast.

ANSIA is home to Chevron’s Wheatstone and BHP’s Macedon gas projects and offers Hastings access to key utilities as well as proximity to a skilled workforce in Onslow and the town’s port and airport facilities.

The ANSIA location has access to key connections services required for rare earths processing, such as piped natural gas, sufficient water and power, which are all located within close proximity of the proposed Yangibana hydrometallurgical location.

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Lake Resources NL Quarterly Activities Report

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (FRA:LK1) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) is a lithium developer utilising clean, direct extraction technology for the development of high purity lithium products with significant ESG benefits from its flagship Kachi Project (4.4mt LCE resource), and three other lithium brine projects in Argentina. No mining is involved in the brine processing.

Lake owns over 220,000 hectares (0.5 million acres) of leases in a prime location within the Lithium Triangle, alongside all 5 major lithium producers.

A key difference in Lake’s development plan to lithium production is to use an efficient direct lithium extraction method (DLE) from our technology partner, Lilac Solutions Inc. This enables Lake Resources to be a cost competitive supplier of high-purity lithium carbonate with a low carbon (CO2) footprint, low water use and low land use – strong Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) benefits.

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OceanaGold Reports Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results

/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES AND NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO US NEWSWIRE SERVICES./

(All financial figures in US Dollars unless otherwise stated)

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In exceptional market conditions, Rio Tinto achieves record financial results and declares total interim dividend of 561 US cents per share, 75% of underlying earnings

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said “Government stimulus in response to ongoing COVID-19 pressures has driven strong demand for our products at a time of constrained supply resulting in a significant spike in most prices. We focused on safely running our world-class assets and supplying products to our customers. This enabled us, despite operational challenges, to deliver record financial results with free cash flow of $10.2 billion and underlying earnings of $12.2 billion, after taxes and government royalties of $7.3 billion. We are further strengthening the portfolio with our commitment to fund the high-quality Jadar lithium project, which signals our large-scale entry into the fast-growing battery materials market. We will pay an interim dividend of 561 US cents per share, representing 75% of underlying earnings.

“We are making progress on our four priorities, identifying opportunities for operational improvement, advancing our ESG agenda, taking important investment decisions and stepping up our external engagement. We are making real and lasting changes to the way we engage, interact and operate and are committed to ensuring that we have strong and positive relationships wherever we do business. We have identified what we need to do to make Rio Tinto a better company for the long term, with the right teams in place to unleash our full potential.”

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Lake Resources NL Bonus Issue to Shareholders

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Clean lithium developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (FRA:LK1) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF), in recognition of the support received from its shareholders, wishes to advise that it intends to undertake a bonus issue of options (Bonus Options) to all shareholders with an address in Australia or New Zealand (Eligible Shareholders) at 5:00 pm (Sydney time) on the Record Date (set out in the indicative timetable set out below*).

As the Bonus Options will be issued for nil consideration, Lake is raising no capital from their issue. For every ten (10) shares held at 5:00 pm (Sydney time) on the Record Date, Eligible Shareholders will be issued with one (1) free Bonus Option.

The Bonus Options will have an exercise price $0.35 each, expiring on 15 October 2021 and, if exercised, each will result in the allotment and issue of one (1) fully paid ordinary share in Lake. Lake will not seek listing of the Bonus Options on ASX.

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Hastings Technology Metals Ltd Onslow Selected for Yangibana RE Hydrometallurgical Plant

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Australia’s next rare earths producer, Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:HAS) (FRA:5AM) is pleased to announce that it has received conditional approval from the WA Government to develop the Yangibana Rare Earths Project’s (Yangibana) hydrometallurgical plant in the Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Area (ANSIA), near Onslow on the Pilbara coast.

ANSIA is home to Chevron’s Wheatstone and BHP’s Macedon gas projects and offers Hastings access to key utilities as well as proximity to a skilled workforce in Onslow and the town’s port and airport facilities.

The ANSIA location has access to key connections services required for rare earths processing, such as piped natural gas, sufficient water and power, which are all located within close proximity of the proposed Yangibana hydrometallurgical location.

Keep reading... Show less

Lake Resources NL Quarterly Activities Report

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (FRA:LK1) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) is a lithium developer utilising clean, direct extraction technology for the development of high purity lithium products with significant ESG benefits from its flagship Kachi Project (4.4mt LCE resource), and three other lithium brine projects in Argentina. No mining is involved in the brine processing.

Lake owns over 220,000 hectares (0.5 million acres) of leases in a prime location within the Lithium Triangle, alongside all 5 major lithium producers.

A key difference in Lake’s development plan to lithium production is to use an efficient direct lithium extraction method (DLE) from our technology partner, Lilac Solutions Inc. This enables Lake Resources to be a cost competitive supplier of high-purity lithium carbonate with a low carbon (CO2) footprint, low water use and low land use – strong Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) benefits.

Keep reading... Show less

OceanaGold Reports Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results

/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES AND NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO US NEWSWIRE SERVICES./

(All financial figures in US Dollars unless otherwise stated)

Keep reading... Show less

In exceptional market conditions, Rio Tinto achieves record financial results and declares total interim dividend of 561 US cents per share, 75% of underlying earnings

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said “Government stimulus in response to ongoing COVID-19 pressures has driven strong demand for our products at a time of constrained supply resulting in a significant spike in most prices. We focused on safely running our world-class assets and supplying products to our customers. This enabled us, despite operational challenges, to deliver record financial results with free cash flow of $10.2 billion and underlying earnings of $12.2 billion, after taxes and government royalties of $7.3 billion. We are further strengthening the portfolio with our commitment to fund the high-quality Jadar lithium project, which signals our large-scale entry into the fast-growing battery materials market. We will pay an interim dividend of 561 US cents per share, representing 75% of underlying earnings.

“We are making progress on our four priorities, identifying opportunities for operational improvement, advancing our ESG agenda, taking important investment decisions and stepping up our external engagement. We are making real and lasting changes to the way we engage, interact and operate and are committed to ensuring that we have strong and positive relationships wherever we do business. We have identified what we need to do to make Rio Tinto a better company for the long term, with the right teams in place to unleash our full potential.”

Keep reading... Show less

Lake Resources NL Bonus Issue to Shareholders

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Clean lithium developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (FRA:LK1) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF), in recognition of the support received from its shareholders, wishes to advise that it intends to undertake a bonus issue of options (Bonus Options) to all shareholders with an address in Australia or New Zealand (Eligible Shareholders) at 5:00 pm (Sydney time) on the Record Date (set out in the indicative timetable set out below*).

As the Bonus Options will be issued for nil consideration, Lake is raising no capital from their issue. For every ten (10) shares held at 5:00 pm (Sydney time) on the Record Date, Eligible Shareholders will be issued with one (1) free Bonus Option.

The Bonus Options will have an exercise price $0.35 each, expiring on 15 October 2021 and, if exercised, each will result in the allotment and issue of one (1) fully paid ordinary share in Lake. Lake will not seek listing of the Bonus Options on ASX.

Keep reading... Show less

Lake Resources NL Argentina based Director Strengthens Board

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Clean lithium developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (FRA:LK1) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) has strengthened its Board, announcing today the appointment of experienced energy/natural resources lawyer, Sra. Amalia Saenz as a Non-Executive Director.

Based in Buenos Aires, Sra. Amalia’s appointment will assist Lake and its local team in Argentina in engaging with local stakeholders and preparing for the development of clean lithium production in Argentina.

Sra. Saenz is a partner at the law firm, Zang, Bergel & Viaes in Buenos Aires, where she leads the firm’s energy and natural resources practice.

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