Last week the annual Diggers & Dealers conference took place in Kalgoorlie, combining presentations and exhibition areas by a number of mining and exploration companies operating in the region. This year’s conference revealed a keen interest in lithium and related minerals, with a number of Australian miners increasing their lithium exploration efforts despite the recent price falls. The surge in exploration activity demonstrates the widely held opinion that demand for battery grade chemicals including lithium, will continue in the medium to long term.
Australian mining giant FMG also publicized its interest in lithium, with CEO Elizabeth Gaines stating:
““We have a lot of very talented people who have worked in other commodities and we have been drilling for lithium. For us its more it’s more about scale. Our exploration activities are focused on identification and if we think it’s something of sufficient scale then we’d look to develop it ourselves.”
Independence Group, who already hold a number of battery related deposits will invest a further $AU 51 million in 2018, hoping to seize a number of a grade lithium deposits. Pilbara Minerals remain unphased by the market fluctuations and expect the lithium market to recover by early 2019. The company has committed to doubling the capacity of their Pilgangoora mine in the Pilbara over the next few years.