IGO chief executive and managing director Peter Bradford expects the growing electric vehicle and renewable energy markets to have a strong influence on future nickel and copper prices.
Bradford, speaking about the future of nickel and copper in an inaugural speech at the Melbourne Mining Club on Thursday, said that IGO was strategically aligned to the clean energy markets.
With a supply shortage forecasted for the key metals, Bradford urged the industry to increase its commitment to exploration.
“The volume of debate around climate change is getting louder, from society, government and investors,” he said.
“As a society, we need to reduce emissions. As an industry, we know that we play a critical role in this, by not only producing commodities that enable the transition to a clean energy future but also by implementing innovative solutions to make our businesses more sustainable.”
After producing 7513 tonnes of nickel at the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation in Western Australia in the December 2019 quarter, IGO plans to focus on further developing this asset.
IGO has generated strong cashflow from Nova after more than two years into commercial production to support its next phase of growth. This will focus on exploration underpinning future mines’ discovery.
“We need more Novas to meet future nickel demand, and these can only be unlocked through exploration and discovery,” Bradford said.
“IGO’s purpose is making a difference, we come to work every day with the desire to make the world a better place for future generations, by exploring for and mining the metals critical to renewable energy, grid scale energy storage and electric vehicles.”
Bradford also stressed the importance of changing mining’s perception to excite students about careers in the industry.
“Mining is not the problem, we are part of the solution, collaboratively, let us work together to bring about the change we wish to see,” Bradford concluded.