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Stuart McKinnon: More mines needed for global energy revolution

Gold companies have historically dominated the annual Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in the Australian capital of the precious metal, Kalgoorlie.

But this year, more than half of the 69 companies presenting in official speaking slots were miners and explorers linked to decarbonisation.

And two of the three company award winners named at the prestigious Westrac Gala Dinner at the end of the three day event this week were linked to the green revolution, with Digger of the Year going to Lynas Rare Earths and lithium developer Liontown Resources winning Best Emerging Company.

The growth in the ranks and prominence of such companies is in many ways unsurprising given their minerals are essential to any hope of the world reaching the Paris Agreement target of net zero emissions by 2050.

But may what shock people is the number of these companies which will have to either develop new mines or lift their output for the looming wave of demand predicted.

As countries step up their climate ambitions, clean energy technologies are set to become the fastest-growing segment of demand for most minerals.

The International Energy Agency says current global lithium demand may be 13 to 51 times higher by 2040, depending on whether vanadium redox flow batteries penetrate the market.

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