Some of mining’s biggest companies are locked in for the Future Facing Commodities Forum in Singapore from April 4-6, as the new conference stamps its claim to become one of the Asian region’s premier investor gatherings.
The Resource Connect Asia event is the first taken internationally in many years by the experienced Australian brains trust behind investment conference specialists Vertical Events, enhanced by partnerships with Asia Pacific-based investment and advisory firm Tribeca and Perth stockbroker Argonaut.
And a stellar line-up has now dropped, with global majors BHP, Rio Tinto and Cameco, trading giants Trafigura, and powerbrokers of the Asia Pacific business world all involved.
The conference comes as Singapore emerges as a major hub for Asian investment in global resources companies, with resources and battery metals fast becoming key sectors on the local exchange.
Steering audiences through one of the essential and fastest growing battery metals markets will be keynote speaker Joe Lowry, renowned as ‘Mr Lithium’ for his strong opinions and decades of experience in the industry central to the electric vehicle revolution.
“He’s not afraid to say that he likes companies, for whatever reason, and he’s not afraid to say he doesn’t like companies for whatever reason,” Resource Connect Asia’s Stewart McDonald said.
“He’s a breath of fresh air in terms of talking about global lithium, exploration through production.
“So people always look forward to his talks, because he gives a pretty frank analysis of where he thinks the global market’s at.”
Singapore opening to Australian companies
Event partner Tribeca established a business presence in Singapore five years ago, headed by Global Natural Resources founder Ben Cleary who now managing several funds in the region with a number of key business heads operating from the Singapore office.
The sponsorship of the new Resource Connect Asia venture comes at a time of growing interest in investment links between Australia and Singapore, Australia’s fifth largest trading partner in goods and services at $35.9 billion in 2021 and its largest two-way trading and investment partner in the ASEAN region.
It follows a landmark “Green Economy Agreement” signed between the nations in October 2022, signalling the resolve of both nations to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities faced in the transition to Net Zero.
“The reason for the existence of the conference is that Tribeca who are a big fund in Singapore, a major fund manager, they wanted to be involved in a conference, which they could see growing and growing and growing into the future,” McDonald said.
“We put together a pretty impressive line-up. There’s also a lot of big companies in there, especially from Indonesia, big name companies that that wouldn’t normally come to an Australian conference.”
It reflects a growing trend of Asian institutional interest in the Australian resources market, and battery supply chain players in particular.
“Look at Vietnam, look at Korea, Australians are getting good traction and good investment from the bigger players in those areas,” McDonald said.
“There’s still a little bit of interest in Hong Kong, but Singapore is certainly one of the areas that I think you’ll see more fund activity happening in the Australian stocks going forward.”
Facing the Future
The event will also tap investor interest in the gamut of critical minerals central to the renewable and clean energy technology the World Bank says will drive a 500% increase in demand through 2050.
Think nickel, copper, vanadium, graphite, manganese, lithium, cobalt and more commodities essential to the creation of renewable energy, production of EVs and delivery of transmission infrastructure to meet New Zero targets.
Alongside over 90 exhibition booths, keynotes and company presentations, Tribeca is taking a leading role in the delivery of content, with expert panels on the big trends and ideas in future facing commodities to be a major feature.
“Tribeca are working very hard on the content of these panel sessions and they want to make these panel sessions a feature of the event,” McDonald said.
“There will be six to eight panel sessions spread over the two days covering a whole range of topics, like institutional investment, like technology, there will be lithium panel.
“I think the different format of this event will work well, we have keynote and presentations mixed in amongst the panel sessions.
“What we’re expecting is a little bit more interaction than you would normally see from a conference event.”
Time to Xplor
Designed as the premier Asian investment showcase to connect exploration and mining with ESG and sustainability, the Future Facing Commodities Forum will include an opening night cocktail party on April 4, followed by two days of presentations, panels and networking on April 5 and 6.
Along with a number of global majors and emerging companies, it will feature a company keynote from the world’s biggest miner BHP and its new Xplor program.
It will give investors insight into the unique venture capital incubator, through which BHP is investing in high risk and innovative critical minerals exploration by juniors around the world.
ASX-listed companies attending include emerging lithium and critical minerals players like Global Lithium Resources, Sayona Mining, Pan Asia Metals, Chalice Mining, Lithium Plus Minerals and Arafura Rare Earths among a host of others.
Major Indonesian miners, including $2 billion ASX-listed giant Nickel Industries, are also on the card.
“We see this as stage one of what will become a long-term event, and hopefully become the Asia region’s major commodity conference going forward,” McDonald said.
Stockhead will serve as media partner of the 2023 Future Facing Commodities event in Singapore.
This article was developed in collaboration with Resource Connect Asia, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.
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