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Battery Metals May 2021
The US Lithium Gold Rush

Lithium demand is set to grow more than 40 times by 2040 if countries want to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. While electrifying transport and shifting to renewable energy systems is turbocharging demand and stoking prices, projected supply is estimated to meet only half of this need by 2030.

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Oil & Gas May 2021
Oil Industry Themes for 2021

The growing global distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines has altered the outlook for the global economy, and that for oil demand. Reflecting an upbeat general sentiment, AME forecasts a degree of stability in the global oil industry for the first time since COVID-19 began and while considerable uncertainties remain, the risks to growth are more balanced as acute downside risks ease and upside risks emerge.

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Nickel May 2021
At What Cost?

Nickel production has always been relatively expensive. In all the excitement of the China commodity boom up to 2014, nickel projects suffered from very high capital intensities—the project capital cost divided by the nameplate contained nickel capacity.

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Copper May 2021
Key Copper Supply Upside

AME expects mined copper supply to grow 4.8% on-year in 2021 to 17,219kt and a further 6.8% in 2022 to 18,391kt. Indeed, even though mined copper production has continued to face coronavirus-related disruptions this year, particularly in South America, AME expects supply to grow. Operations will be less hindered by the pandemic, particularly in the second half of the year, while new mines and expansions ramp up.

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Aluminium May 2021
Tariff Terrific

Protectionist measures are anticipated to become an increasing theme in the short to medium term. Responding to the impact of the pandemic on world trade and political tensions flowing from actions by an assertive China, other countries are looking to secure domestic manufacturing capability and reduce dependence on the manufacturing behemoth.

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Steel May 2021
China's Steel Pandemic Recovery

China’s steel industry recovered quickly after the initial outbreak of the pandemic led to a 1.6% y-o-y slip in March 2020 to 79Mt. For the past 12 months, China's average monthly crude steel production has increased 9.5%, while the Rest of World (RoW) has decreased by 6.7%.

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LNG May 2021
Evolving Carbon-Neutral LNG

In the global energy industry, natural gas is considered the “bridge fuel” to a low-carbon future. Industry participants and some policymakers have touted the benefits of natural gas as a climate-friendly substitute for more carbon-intensive fuels, such as coal. However, this has been increasingly challenged, as the natural gas industry faces growing pressure from investors, regulators, and customers to do more to help meet climate change objectives and ESG goals.

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Thermal May 2021
Australia’s Thermal Coal Longevity Tied to Asian Growth

Australia’s thermal coal industry and the national economy are closely bound. Australia is the fifth-largest coal producer and has the fourth largest reserves of coal in the world. The nation is the world’s second-biggest thermal coal exporter.

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Battery Metals April 2021
Chinese EV Makers Step Up Competition

China's electric vehicle makers are looking to topple Tesla's dominance in the domestic market, which is expected to see exponential growth in the years ahead. The groups have used Shanghai's Auto Show, which opened on Apr. 19, to tout their latest offerings and technology to entice younger buyers. Indeed, surveys are suggesting that the country's under-35s are increasingly in favour of domestic brands.

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Copper April 2021
Wind Takes Off, Lifting Copper

The accelerating shift towards renewable energy will require huge quantities of copper as governments pledge to reach net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. This is particularly the case for wind energy, which is the most copper-intensive form of power generation and will consume the highest amount over the next decade in this sector. AME forecasts that copper demand will double by 2050 resulting in a 2.15% CAGR, the highest in the base metals class.

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Metallurgical Coal April 2021
Status of Australia's New Coking Coal Projects

It has been long while since Australia witnessed a new greenfield coal project moving on to become an operational mine. The last project to come online and ramp up to full production capacity was Qcoal’s Byerwen coal project back in 2018. This feature article will look at some of the major development projects in the pipeline that have the potential to become operational within the next few years.

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Gold April 2021
Opaque Supply Chains in Spotlight, Production Costs Rise

Increasing consumer interest in responsible and sustainable gold is pushing the world's top jewellers and watch makers to reassess their supply chains. Miners will continue to face increased scrutiny to improve their environmental, social, and governance credentials, particularly after a string of high-profile disasters.

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Oil & Gas April 2021
Global Crude Trade Rebound and Stocks

Crude oil markets may have successfully rebounded from the shockwave of COVID-19, but a positive medium-term outlook for crude and products trade is far from secure.

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Steel April 2021
Japan's Declining Steel Exports

Japan is the second largest exporter of steel in the world; but its dominance is at the precipice of waning. The rise of China—the top exporter of steel since 2006—as well as industry concerns of excess capacity and increased protectionist measures have led to decreasing Japanese steel exports.

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Aluminium April 2021
The Turbulent Atlantic

Bauxites from Guinea and Brazil have a global reputation for their high quality and relative ease of processing. According to the USGS, Africa and the South America/Caribbean region comprise 53% of the global bauxite reserves. Guinea alone accounts for a quarter of the world’s reserves and has seen a dramatic increase in production in the past five years, making it the second largest producer behind Australia, and is expected to soon pass 100Mtpa. While the West African producers currently have very limited domestic refinery capacity compared with the South American/Caribbean region—with Rusal’s 640ktpa Fria refinery in Guinea the only operation—future refinery development is a potentially large value driver in the medium term.

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LNG April 2021
Top Upcoming LNG Projects

There are numerous LNG projects expected to commence operations around the world in the coming years. These projects have been initiated to meet an anticipated strong demand for cleaner-burning fuel.

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Nickel April 2021
Matte Attack

Tsingshan's announcement in March that it would supply Huayou Cobalt and CNGR Advanced Material with nickel matte has grabbed the attention of the nickel market and industry.

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Aluminium March 2021
How Green is ‘Green’ Aluminium

Increasing awareness and activity relating to greenhouse gas emissions has seen companies start to burnish their green/environmental responsibility credentials.

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Oil Refineries March 2021
Net Zero Commitments Increase Refinery Investment in Hydrogen

The most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen, is viewed as a tantalising substitute to natural gas and coal to help heavily polluting sectors such as aviation, steelmaking, and shipping de-carbonise. As an added bonus, some of the existing infrastructure in our carbon-dependent economy, from pipelines to refineries, can be retrofitted to hydrogen-based energy production.

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Battery Metals March 2021
US Battery Sector Fails to Keep Pace in Global Race

China has emerged supreme in the race to manufacture the high-tech batteries that power electric cars and store renewable energy with 93 "gigafactories"—compared to only four in the US. If current trends continue, China could have 140 gigafactories by 2030, while Europe would have 17 and the US, just 10.

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Copper March 2021
US Copper Demand Rises, Mines Get Riskier

US refined copper demand is set to grow by 3% this year to 1.768Mt and rise a further 4.5% in 2022 to 1.847Mt as President Biden's US$1.9tn stimulus bill comes to fruition, powering further economic recovery in the world's biggest economy, coupled with the new administration's enthusiasm for the green revolution.

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Copper February 2021
Rio Tinto Faces Another Cultural Battle

Rio Tinto is headed for another cultural battle over Indigenous mining land after it was granted approval by the US government for a land swap in Arizona on grounds sacred to Native Americans.

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Battery Metals February 2021
Chip Shortage Exposes Supply Chain Vulnerability

China’s car market staged a sparkling recovery in the second half of 2020, but this rebound set off a domino effect of chip shortages, panicking both suppliers and clients, and placing the supply chain, and its vulnerabilities, under a microscope.

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Oil & Gas February 2021
Hydrogen – An Opportunity for Oil and Gas Companies?

Interest in hydrogen is mainly centred in two regions—China and the EU. China's interest stems from the country's desire to dominate global energy and technology markets. In the EU, government policy has taken centre stage thanks to the EU Hydrogen Strategy. Released last July, the plan calls for the installation of 6GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers by the end of 2024, and at least 40GW by 2030.

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LNG February 2021
Record LNG Tanker Hire Prices to Subside in Spring

An unprecedented shortage of liquefied natural gas tankers at the start of 2021 made these vessels the most expensive ships ever hired to transport commodities. Spot rates more than tripled in the past month, with BP Plc last month paying US$350,000 a day to charter an LNG tanker to pick up a cargo from the US.

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