Why the future of copper and zinc is starting to look “critical”

In December, Resources Minister Madeleine King for the first time released an Australian ‘Strategic Materials List’, which includes two of Eastern Metals’ main targets, copper and zinc.

The list can be found here.

The release of this new list is just the first step.

As most of you will know, Australia’s ‘Critical Minerals List’ includes minerals classified as essential to modern technology, the economy and national security — or where there are risks to the supply chain.

This new list means the Australian Government recognises that ‘bread and butter’ commodities such as copper and zinc are “essential for energy transition”.

It might not happen in 2024, but certainly some time in the future we could well see metals like zinc and copper in Australia move from ‘strategic’ to ‘critical’.

This will then be in line with other countries such as Canada and the US, which recognise the critical role these commodities play in future energy infrastructure.

It’s hugely positive their importance has been recognised now — because of a lack of investment in the past 5-10 years, fewer discoveries and long, drawn-out and expensive approvals processes, it’s only a matter of time before inventories reach critical lows.

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