Risk and reward for Australian critical minerals: KPMG

KPMG

KPMG has outlined a rising lack of trust and increased competition as risk factors for the Australian minerals industry, with plenty of opportunity arising as a result, according to its latest report.

The report, titled Geopolitics and the Australian minerals industry, found international structural shifts, domestic discontent, industry 4.0, and the climate crisis as the four major geopolitical trends to affect Australia’s minerals sector.

KPMG Australia geopolitics lead Merriden Varrall said the sector could take it all in its stride if it was prepared to evolve.

“Global geopolitical volatility presents risks but for those on the front-foot, it also presents significant opportunities,” Varrall said.

“This is very important in the critical minerals and mining sector in Australia.”

Some of the factors in Australia’s favour were its leading presence in commodities like rutile, zircon, tantalum, lithium and rare earth elements.

The country is also in the top five for world resources in minerals such as antimony, cobalt, manganese ore, niobium, tungsten and vanadium.

KPMG Australia national mining leader Nick Harridge recognised that much global turmoil was down to the climate crisis, which Australia was well placed to help abate.

“We recognise that the minerals sector is critical for Australia’s economic wellbeing through employment and other contributions to communities, shareholders and government,” Harridge said.

“Importantly, key components for infrastructure, renewables and batteries important for a decarbonising world are drawn from minerals and rare earth commodities.”

As the report found that factors such as environmental, social governance (ESG) credentials were important factors in the success of mining companies moving forward, Varrall said a complete assessment of one’s business was key to success towards 2030.

“We say that for miners, it’s vital to analyse your entire value chain, including impacts to your suppliers and critical stakeholders – gaining a holistic, deep understanding of which parts of your business are most exposed and where you should focus response effort,” Varrall said.

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