coastline landscape with city skyscrapers

Australia’s tech sector is making headway on an international level. Learn about the Australia tech outlook and what’s next in the country.

Australia’s technology sector is garnering attention with advancements in fintech, cleantech and gaming, among other exciting industries.

The country’s characteristically resilient economy — which had not experienced a recession in nearly 30 years prior to COVID-19 lockdowns — has provided a sturdy backdrop for its growing tech sector. As economies worldwide face uncertainty, Australia’s job market continues to defy global trends.

In fact, as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, Australia’s employment level rose by a record 366,100 jobs in November 2021, surpassing projections of a 205,000 turnaround, as per a Reuters report.


Australia tech outlook: Strong international players

With Australia’s strong economy in mind, companies at an international scale have been securing footholds in the country’s technology market in recent years.

For instance, Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank (OTC Pink:SFTBY,TSE:9984) began investing in Australia in 2016 via the acquisition of AI and robotics firm ST Solutions. ST Solutions' flagship robot, Pepper, can greet customers in 21 languages using emotional response analytics. Pepper is at the forefront of Softbank’s robot initiatives.

Similarly, in April 2019, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its inaugural commercial drone delivery system in North Canberra, Australia. The service — called Wing — delivers food, coffee and retail items by drone to residences. Orders are placed through a mobile app.

More recently, Google announced plans to invest AU$1 billion in Australia over the next five years, including in tech startups and a regional research hub in Sydney. "Australia can help lead the world's next wave of innovation, harnessing technology to improve lives, create jobs, and make progress," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said.

Some of the biggest names in global tech are also taking positions in Aussie-grown tech startups. In May 2020, Chinese gaming and social media firm Tencent Holdings (OTC Pink:TCHEY,HKEX:0700) bought a 5 percent stake in Australian buy now, pay later company Afterpay (ASX:APT,OTC Pink:AFTPF)

As these large tech companies invest in Australia, tech unicorns (startups with valuations of more than a billion dollars) have garnered attention. According to CB Insights, there are currently six Australian unicorn tech companies: Canva, Culture Amp, Judo Capital, Safety Culture, Go1, Pet Circle and Airwallex.

Design startup Canva is estimated to be worth US$40 billion. It has over 60 million monthly active users, and 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies use its services, including Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). In May 2019, it acquired both Pexels and Pixabay, broadening its stock photo subscription model service. After securing US$200 million in funding in September 2021, the company has plans to double its workforce.

Australia tech outlook: Top tech trends

As mentioned, Australia’s current tech ecosystem is largely underpinned by the country’s advancements in three core sectors: fintech, cleantech and gaming.

According to Deloitte, the fintech sector in Australia is both maturing and scaling at a steady clip, making it ripe for investment. In its Technology Fast 50 2020 report, the firm highlights Half Dome, My Plan Manager and Autoguru as the top technology companies in Australia. For its part, EY reports that 58 percent of Australians used fintech applications in 2019, with the adoption rate rising 27 percent since 2017.

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, another part of the fintech landscape, Australian exchanges CoinJar and Coinspot allow users to buy and sell digital assets. In August 2019, the Gemini exchange also launched its services in Australia, offering users the ability to exchange bitcoin, bitcoin cash, zcash, litecoin and ether. A December 2021 EY report states that the country is on track to see its crypto market swell to up to 30 times its current size by 2030.

Emerging as a leader in the cleantech sector, Australia is making strides in renewable energy technology, such as wind and solar power, as well as energy storage. In early 2019, Melbourne began using wind to power 100 percent of its municipal infrastructure, such as universities, town halls and street lights.

In Queensland, Genex Power began construction of its 250 megawatt Kidston pumped hydro project in 2021. The company secured a government loan of up to AU$610 million to move the project forward. Meanwhile, as part of a 10 year deal, members of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project will purchase 88 gigawatt hours of wind power annually from Pacific Hydro; the deal has resulted in the creation of nearly 150 new jobs. Fast Company notes that this new business model has spurred renewable energy contracts from several large corporations in Australia.

As Australia makes formative moves in renewable energy, it is also showing explosive growth in the gaming and esports sectors. PwC expects revenue for Australia’s games and esports market hit AU$3.41 billion in 2020.

Australia is home to a number of ASX-listed esports companies, including: Esports Mogul (ASX:ESH), Emerge Gaming (ASX:EM1), iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI), Kneomedia (ASX:KNM,OTCQB:KNEOF) and SportsHero (ASX:SHO,OTC Pink:NIROF). Further expanding the esports investment opportunities in Australia, the ASX now has an esports-focused exchange-traded fund, the VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and Esports ETF (ASX:ESPO).

As the esports sector continues to expand, it has attracted international partnerships. In 2018, Riot Games, publisher of League of Legends and Valorant, partnered with the Australian Football League and brought an esports event to the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, a stadium that seats 4,000. In the summer of 2020, Ubisoft Australia extended its partnership with XP Esports Australia for seasons two and three of the XP Women’s League, as well as the new High School League Rainbow Six competition.

In 2022, Australian esports fans can look forward to the country's first DreamHack festival, an international immersive gaming lifestyle experience first launched in 1994. The three day event will take place in Melbourne, and will feature professional tournaments, as well as “the biggest range of e-sports and gaming content ever seen at an Australian festival," reported Esports Grizzly.

Australia tech outlook: What’s ahead

Looking ahead, PwC expects the Australian gaming and esports market to reach AU$4.9 billion by 2025. The forecasted growth is attributed to app-based games and in-app purchases in a market saturated with smartphone ownership and improved monetisation strategies for increased revenue from mobile games.

Deloitte has made several predictions for the future of tech in Australia. The major sectors the firm sees leading the way forward include on-demand video streaming services, gaming consoles, semiconductor chips, fixed wireless access, private 5G and wearable medical devices.

For its part, the Tech Council of Australia states that the number of workers in the country’s technology field will increase by 286,000 between 2021 and 2025 to reach over 1 million employed in the industry.

It's clear that the capital markets recognised this growing demand early on. In mid-2019, ABC News reported that the ASX was aiming to become an epicentre for tech listings, and over the past few years it has focused on recruiting more late-stage tech companies to access greater pools of capital.

Underscoring this growth are key economic factors. Australia’s economy is recovering from COVID-19 lockdowns. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “as the recovery continues, labour market conditions will improve and spare capacity will be absorbed.” The OECD is calling for real gross domestic product to grow by 3.8 percent in 2021, 4.1 percent in 2022 and 3 percent in 2023.

What’s more, the wave of initial public offerings (IPOs) that swept Australia’s tech industry in late 2020 continued throughout 2021, with newly listed companies such as Airtasker (ASX:ART) and PEXA (ASX:PXA) amassing initial valuations of AU$255 million and AU$3 billion, respectively. Tech listings are expected to underpin IPOs on the ASX in 2022, and are anticipated to include buy now, pay later business Beforepay, marketplace technology firm Marketplacer and healthcare technology business Careteq.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2019.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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The novel multi-media campaign, created in partnership with RGA, is built on the concept that consumers can Zip everything around them and pay in four installments Following its global rebrand this summer, digital payment pioneer Zip Co Limited today revealed a new multi-million dollar brand campaign – ‘Zip Now, Pay Later’ – across the U.S., to attract new customers to merchants ahead of the holiday shopping …

The novel multi-media campaign, created in partnership with R/GA, is built on the concept that consumers can Zip everything around them and pay in four installments

Following its global rebrand this summer, digital payment pioneer Zip Co Limited ( ASX: Z1P ) today revealed a new multi-million dollar brand campaign – ‘Zip Now, Pay Later’ – across the U.S., to attract new customers to merchants ahead of the holiday shopping season. From TikTok dance challenges to ‘earworms’ stuck in our heads and glam tips for Zoom calls, ‘Zip Now, Pay Later’ spotlights meme-worthy moments that have captivated millions, all demonstrating that Zip is not only part of the same cultural zeitgeist, but also the payment option of choice for modern consumers who are increasingly shunning credit cards for flexible, transparent digital payment options everywhere they shop.

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Australia has a buzzing tech market, but where are its biggest and most important hubs? Learn about the country's major markets and their development in recent years.

The global technology industry has grown at an impressive speed in the 21st century, generally increasing at a rate of about 5 to 6 percent year-on-year. Although 2020 was rocky as the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world, the market is expected to see this growth again as it returns to a normal pattern.

New technologies are emerging all the time, and keeping up with every sector can be daunting. It can be helpful to hone in on individual areas, and Australia is a compelling place to look.

Here the Investing News Network provides an overview of the Australian tech landscape, including the country's hottest areas for tech development and the major companies working there.


Australia's place in the global tech landscape

Australia's tech sector is still developing, but it's already the third biggest contributor to the country’s GDP, behind mining and banking. It brought in about AU$167 billion in 2021, and its economic contribution has grown 79 percent in the last six years. This rapid growth is partly due to increased use of technology during COVID-19.

Even so, Australia’s tech sector has faced challenges. Currently the nation's tech industry directly contributes 3.8 percent of the country’s GDP, compared to 10.2 percent in the US and the 8.1 percent in the UK.

According to a report by the Technology Council of Australia and Accenture, if Australia’s tech sector continues to directly contribute an annual 3.8 percent to GDP for the next decade, it would be bringing about AU$214 billion to the country by 2031. However, if Australia can match the 6.8 percent tech industry GDP contribution of Canada, a country with a similar economy, it would make for an additional AU$30 billion annually.

How Australia's government is encouraging tech growth

In November 2021, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to reduce the country’s dependence on China by investing billions into its own industries. This includes an impressive 63 technology sectors, ranging from cybersecurity to biomedicine to low-emissions technology.

Of this list of 63 technologies, the first to be funded is quantum technology — Australia will pledge AU$100 million for quantum research in the country. According to a report by CSIRO, Australia’s quantum technology industry could create 16,000 jobs and over AU$4 billion in revenue by 2040.

Where are Australia’s tech hubs?

As mentioned, the tech market is relatively young in Australia — although it's the third biggest contributor in terms of GDP, it's only the seventh largest Australian industry when it comes to total jobs. However, it’s been growing at a remarkable pace in recent years, and key players have emerged in the big tech hubs.

Read on for an overview of where most big tech companies are located in Australia. All market cap data included below was gathered on April 21, 2022, using TradingView's stock screener.

Tech hubs in Australia: Sydney

Unsurprisingly, Sydney is one of the big Australian tech hubs. This is because Sydney is Australia’s business capital.

Sydney is known primarily for its financial services, software and media industries. Some of the key players in Sydney’s tech industry by market cap, are:

1. Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC)

Market cap: AU$15 billion

Wisetech Global is headquartered in Sydney and develops cloud-based software for the global logistics industry. Its worldwide presence is undeniable, as it provides software for 12,000 organisations in 150 countries.

As Wisetech continues to grow, it has made many acquisitions. Some purchases made in recent years include Ready Korea, a South Korean customs solutions company; SISA Studio Informatica, a renowned Swiss provider of customs and freight forwarding systems; and US-based logistics company Depot Systems.

2. Audinate Group (ASX:AD8)

Market cap: AU$588.72 million

Audinate Group is a Sydney-based company that provides digital audio technologies. Audinate is best known for its platform Dante, which sends digital audio signals through computer networks.

Tech hubs in Australia: Melbourne

Melbourne is the second big hotspot for tech companies in Australia; alongside that, the city is well known for its biotech and biomedical services and research industries.

Interestingly, Melbourne is also becoming a go-to location for hot tech startups. This is because it has much more available and affordable office space than Sydney. Melbourne is ranked with cities like Boston and London when it comes to biomedical research, making it a global leader in the field. According to Savills’ Tech City Index, it’s also the only city in Australia ranked among the 22 best cities in the world for tech companies.

1. Afterpay

Afterpay is the biggest tech company in Australia, and has experienced significant growth in the last year. As its name implies, Afterpay is a buy-now, pay-later service. Currently it’s used by over 55,000 retail businesses. It also operates a secondary business function called Touch, which is a system for online payments.

On January 31, 2022, Afterpay was acquired by Block (NYSE:SQ) for AU$39 billion.

Tech hubs in Australia: Brisbane

Although Brisbane has long been overlooked by investors in favour of Sydney and Melbourne, it’s been growing its tech industry steadily over the years and is even trying to assert itself as an Australian tech hub.

Many big tech companies and small startups alike have their operations set up in Brisbane. Some notably large companies by market cap include:

1. Novonix (ASX:NVX)

Market cap: AU$2.92 billion

Novonix is a battery technology company based in Brisbane. Novonix primarily focuses on creating equipment for testing lithium-ion batteries. Thanks to the rapid growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market in Australia and worldwide, the company is expecting to break even this year.

Recent preliminary results for an environmental impact study show that its systems offer a 60 percent decrease in CO2 emissions. If the final results remain consistent, this will mean Novonix’s synthetic graphite EV and ESS battery anode materials are 2.5 times less harmful to the environment than products made in China.

2. TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE)

Market cap: AU$3.57 billion

Enterprise tech firm TechnologyOne offers software services to over 1,200 clients in Australia and New Zealand, plus some customers in the UK. Notable users include Sydney Motorway and the University of Melbourne.

TechnologyOne’s software is used to help migrate companies to online processes, such as transferring paper-based systems to a digital platform. The majority of its revenue ⁠— 86 percent ⁠— comes from annual subscriptions.

3. NEXTDC (ASX:NXT)

Market cap: AU$5.13 billion

NEXTDC is a data centre company focusing on energy-efficient services for businesses. It offers connectivity services, infrastructure management software and cloud readiness. Although its headquarters are in Brisbane, the company has 11 data centres set up across Australia, including some in Sydney, Melbourne and elsewhere.

NEXTDC is one of the top tech stocks listed on the ASX, and is widely regarded as one of the most reliable data centres in Australia thanks to its high-performance hosting. This is why it’s partnered with large names like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Cloud and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Cloud.

Thanks to the growing importance of data services in recent years, NEXTDC has grown steadily in size and revenue.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Matthew Flood, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

The Children’s Place , Inc. the largest pure-play children’s specialty apparel retailer in North America and Afterpay the leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later” payments, celebrate The Children’s Place 2021 Holiday Matching Family Pajama Collection with Kris Jenner Khloé Kardashian, True Thompson and MJ Shannon. “I LOVE the holidays and there is nothing better than gathering my family together and celebrating with …

The Children’s Place , Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCE), the largest pure-play children’s specialty apparel retailer in North America and Afterpay (ASX: APT) the leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later” payments, celebrate The Children’s Place 2021 Holiday Matching Family Pajama Collection with Kris Jenner Khloé Kardashian, True Thompson and MJ Shannon.

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icetana’s Largest Customer Extends Contract and Receives First South America Order

icetana Limited (ASX: ICE “icetana” or “the Company”) advises that a purchase order has been received following negotiations for a new Software Maintenance Agreement with Majid al Futtaim Properties (LLC) (“MAF”).

Highlights:


  • icetana has received a purchase order for its largest Middle East shopping mall contract.
  • The existing service contract which expires this month has been renewed at US$350,000 per annum in recurring license fees.
  • icetana has also received it’s first order from a South American client with NEC Argentina

The renewal covers the 12 months from April 2022 to March 2023 with a license fee of US$350,000 (A$465,000) for existing cameras already installed and being actively used by MAF at over 16 shopping centres throughout the Middle East.

MAF has been a strong referring customer of icetana since 2016 and icetana’s motion intelligence system provides enhanced security whilst saving money on guards as an integrated part of MAF’s mall operations.

icetana looks forward to a continued positive relationship with MAF as COVID conditions improve and shopping mall operations return to full capacity.

As part of our expanded sales strategy into new markets, icetana has also received an order from NEC Argentina which is the company’s first revenue from the South American market. This follows the previously announced (8 December 2021) signing of a development collaboration Memorandum of Understanding.

Development of icetana’s next generation motion intelligence product has accelerated over the past three months and four trial customers have been secured for the beta release during April 2022.

Material terms of commercial arrangements:

For MAF:

The contractual arrangement disclosed in this announcement is directly between ICETANA SYSTEMS SOFTWARE TRADING L.L.C a Dubai-based subsidiary of icetana and the end-user Majid al Futtaim Properties (LLC) (“MAF”) and is an Addendum to a pre-existing Software Maintenance Agreement (“SMA”) first signed in June 2019.

MAF is subject to the End User Licence Agreement as published on the icetana website.

The payment terms for this contract from MAF to icetana are 30 days for the annual lump sum. MAF has been a client of icetana since 2016 with a positive payment history.

The agreement has renewed for a one year term and will again be subject to a renewal or extension in March 2023. It is therefore possible that no revenue over and above the value disclosed from this annual renewal materialises from MAF pursuant to this commercial arrangement going forward. Either party may terminate the contract on 30 days of notice.

For NEC Argentina:

The contractual arrangement disclosed in this announcement is directly between icetana and NEC Argentina rather than the end user and is valued at US$15,000 over three years. NEC Argentina and the end user is subject to the End User Licence Agreement as published on the icetana website.

The payment terms from NEC Argentina to icetana are 30 days from receipt of purchase order. NEC Argentina is part of the global NEC group and debt risk is very low.

The order provides for a three year development term and will be subject to a renewal or extension in January 2025. It is therefore possible that no revenue over and above the initial order value materialises from NEC Argentina pursuant to this commercial arrangement going forward. There is no termination clause with this order.

Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from icetana Limited , licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

ICE:AU
Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans

Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans said, “Canada and the US are working feverishly to develop an internal battery materials supply chain and we think we're going to play a critical role in that.”

Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans: Sustainable Hardrock Lithium Opportunities in Quebec youtu.be


Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1) CEO Chris Evans joined the Investing News Network to discuss the company and its Cancet lithium project in Quebec, Canada.

"We listed on the ASX on November 30, 2021," he explained. "We're lithium focused but based in Canada, and we've been pretty successful in the last six months — our share price has done well. I think I've been putting this down to the success factors which we possess as a company, including the fact that we're into lithium at a moment with high demand. Any mining company that's associated with lithium has tended to do well.

“Our assets are in Quebec, a fantastic mining jurisdiction for all sorts of reasons. Also, being listed on the ASX — Australian investors tend to like early stage plays a bit better. They've certainly woken up to the electric vehicle and lithium revolution that's occurring in the world. And it's a pleasure having the assets in Canada.”


Next, Evans got into specifics about the company's flagship project. “The Cancet project is our flagship, in the James Bay region of Quebec. All our projects are hard-rock lithium; that's digging the rocks out of the ground and concentrating the lithium in them. Then it gets converted into the final product, which is lithium carbonate or hydroxide, that then goes into electric vehicle batteries,” he explained.

“Cancet’s had about 5,500 metres of drilling done on it historically, so we know that there's a great deposit of lithium at fantastic grades. It outcrops on the surface, the lithium-containing spodumene from the pegmatite rock, where we have 3.7 percent lithium oxide over a 17 metre interval from the surface at our most successful drill hole. We just completed 2,000 metres of drilling ourselves, increasing our knowledge of the orebody that's there, and also looking for extensions to the orebody. We've got 395 claims, and our drilling and exploration is only over about 15 of the claims. So we've got a lot further to look here and a lot more to develop.”

As for supply location, and the company's relationship with the international market, Evans said, “We think it's fantastic for us, and our shareholders, that we have assets in Quebec. Roughly 50 percent of the world's hard-rock lithium comes from Australia, where it’s mined and concentrated. The problem is that final conversion into lithium carbonate or hydroxide all occurs at the moment in China ... lithium is on the critical minerals list in Canada, the US and Australia, and Canada and the US are working feverishly to develop an internal battery materials supply chain. We think we're going to play a critical role in that.”

Elaborating on the sustainability industry that drives the battery revolution, he said, “(Nearly) all power in Quebec is generated by hydroelectricity and renewable forms of electricity. That’s very important, because the mining and concentration process for lithium products traditionally produces a large carbon footprint, because it's energy intensive. The EU, from 2024, has mandated that all batteries are labeled with the carbon footprint of all the materials that are contained within them. Then, by about 2026, there's specific targets that batteries have to meet in order to be sold in the EU. If you don't have a renewable source of energy to produce your lithium products that go into those batteries, it's going to severely restrict your markets — and that's another bonus for us being in Quebec.”

Evans said that Winsome Resources’ approach is to develop a mine itself, rather than selling or partnering. “We will approach this as if we are going to be developing the Cancet project, and producing lithium ourselves, in four or so years. And I think that'll best serve our shareholders.” With regards to other ways the company could benefit investors, Evans said, “Being listed on the ASX, and having access to a lot of capital, I think there's a great opportunity for us to acquire other projects in Canada. We're about to start our summer exploration. And we're on the lookout for a new project. So I think the good news is really to come.”

Watch the full interview of Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans above.

Disclaimer: This interview is sponsored by Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1). This interview provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Winsome Resources in order to help investors learn more about the company. Winsome Resources is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.

INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.

The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Winsome Resources and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

This interview may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, receipt of property titles, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The issuer relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements. Investing in companies comes with uncertainties as market values can fluctuate.

WR1:AU

Where are the silver mines in Australia? You might be surprised to learn that the country is home to one of the world’s top primary silver producers.

Mining is a big part of Australia’s history, and it continues to shape the country’s economy and position in the world today. The nation is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of resources, with coal, uranium, copper and gold being some of its best-known commodities.

Australia is also a key producer of silver — it was the world’s fifth-largest producer of the metal in 2021, tied with Russia, putting out 1,300 MT. Interestingly, most of Australia's silver is produced from silver-bearing galena, but some is also produced from copper and gold mining.

Refined silver comes mainly from the Port Pirie lead smelter and refinery in South Australia, though silver is also refined at gold refineries in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Melbourne.


But where are the silver mines in Australia, exactly? While it’s interesting to know what types of deposits the precious metal is found in, many investors want to know what companies are producing silver and where their mines are located geographically. Read on to find the answers to those questions.

Where are the silver mines in Australia?

Silver has played a role in Australia since the mid-1800s — Wheal Gawler, Australia’s first metal mine, was a silver-lead mine developed in South Australia in the 1840s. And that’s not Australia’s only early silver-mining operation — the Broken Hill deposit in New South Wales and the Mount Isa deposit in Queensland are two other early Australian silver discoveries.

Broken Hill, a lead-zinc-silver deposit, was discovered in 1883 by German immigrant Charles Rasp, and the Broken Hill Proprietary Company was born in 1885; it ultimately merged in 2001 with another mining giant, Billiton, to form BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT). BHP Billiton is no longer involved with Broken Hill, but ore is still being extracted there today. Perilya now runs the southern and northern operations.

For its part, Mount Isa was discovered in 1923 by John Campbell Miles, and like Broken Hill is still producing today. It was acquired by Glencore (LSE:GLEN) in 2013 and in addition to silver is also a producer of zinc.

These major early Australian silver discoveries are not the country’s only sources of silver. Other silver mines in Australia include Cannington, one of the world’s top primary silver producers. It’s a fly-in, fly-out mining and processing operation that is owned by South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32), a diversified resource company spun out from BHP Billiton in 2015. Cannington also produces lead and zinc.

Australia holds the McArthur River mine as well, which opened in 1995 and is owned by Glencore subsidiary McArthur River Mining. The mine is one of the world’s largest zinc-lead-silver mines, and is located in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Glencore’s 2021 annual report claims total silver production reached 31.519 million ounces for the year, representing a 4 percent drop from 2020. That includes 625,000 ounces from McArthur River.

The Century mine, which previously belonged to MMG (HKEX:1208), shut its doors at the end of 2015, but was a major producer of zinc (and silver) until that time. It was reopened in mid-2018 by New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) and the company says it now has an estimated annual production capacity of 264,000 tonnes of zinc and 3 million ounces of silver.

Independence Group (ASX:IGO) also produces silver, along with copper and zinc, at its Jaguar operation in Western Australia. Gold producer Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) owns some projects with silver reserves as well. As you can see, there are and have been many silver mines in Australia.

Future silver mines in Australia?

In addition to being home to a slew of large silver mines, Australia also plays host to many companies that are exploring and developing silver projects. Below are a few that have made recent progress.

Please let us know in the comments if we’ve forgotten to mention any Australia-focused silver companies. All companies listed had market caps of at least AU$5 million on May 19, 2022.

Argent Minerals (ASX:ARD) — Argent Minerals’ main asset is its 100-percent-owned Kempfield polymetallic project in New South Wales. In May 2018, the company announced an updated resource estimate for the asset — its silver equivalent contained metal now stands at an estimated 100 million silver equivalent ounces at 120 g/t silver equivalent; that’s approximately double the previous estimate.

In total the company has three projects, with all of them being in New South Wales.

Investigator Resources (ASX:IVR) — Investigator Resources is advancing silver, copper and gold deposits in South Australia. Currently its properties include the Peterlumbo/Paris silver project, the Eyre Peninsula and Stuart Shelf projects and the Northern Yorke Peninsula projects.

The total resource for Paris stands at an estimated 18.8 million tonnes at 88 g/t silver and 0.52 percent lead for 53.1 million ounces of contained silver and 97,600 tonnes of contained lead (at a cut off of 30 g/t silver). The indicated component is 12.7 million tonnes of silver (95 g/t) and represents 73 percent of the total estimated resource ounces.

Horizon Minerals (ASX:HRZ) — Horizon Minerals owns the Nimbus silver-zinc project in Western Australia. Nimbus has a high-grade silver-zinc resource estimate of 255,898 tonnes at 773 g/t silver and 13 percent zinc; the total Nimbus resource stands at 1.21 million tonnes at 52 g/t silver, 0.9 percent zinc and 0.2 g/t gold.

Silver Mines (ASX:SVL) bills itself as a leading Australian silver exploration company, and has spent a considerable amount of time acquiring Australian silver projects. Those include Malachite Resources’ (ASX:MAR) Conrad project and Kingsgate Consolidated’s (ASX:KCN) Bowdens silver project.

While the company’s main focus has been on the Webbs silver project in New South Wales, the Bowdens project represents the largest undeveloped silver project in Australia, and Silver Mines is working to get the project through the feasibility, environmental impact statement and permitting stages.

In a 2018 report, the feasibility study demonstrated an average silver production of 3.4 million tonnes per annum for the project, with 5.4 million during the first three years of operation. Estimations also included 6,900 tonnes of zinc and 5,100 tonnes of lead.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2018.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Ryan Sero, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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