Seven new powerhouses to drive mineral demand: EMR exec

China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, and Turkey will be leading the world’s mineral demand in the coming decades, Owen Hegarty, Executive Chairman of Australian private equity manager EMR Capital, predicts.

Speaking at the Paydirt 2018 Africa Down Under mining conference taking place in Perth, Hegarty said that the new top seven economies will lead the expected doubling of the global economy by 2050.

“You have to look at China – a country rebalancing, reforming and transforming – and that will make it the key driver of minerals commodity demand,” the investment expert said.

In his view, the Asian giant will need a large amount of construction and technology materials in the coming years as it ramps up its Belt and Road initiative, which is designed to improve infrastructure and connectivity between China and Eurasia.

“Future supply constraints will parallel the more than halving in minerals exploration spend."

“But it is not just China. India will derive 25 per cent of its GDP from manufacturing by 2022 and its Smart Cities Mission has committed $3 trillion to infrastructure spending to 2035,” Hegarty said. “This alone will create another wave of minerals commodities demand,” he added.

The EMR Capital Chairman foresees an increased demand for raw and processed minerals also taking place in Indonesia, given the country’s focus on developing its infrastructure to create a solid platform for growth.

According to Owen Hegarty, copper, gold, potash and coking coal are the minerals that these countries will be asking for. “The demand for copper has been robust for decades and there are emerging new uses but the existing supply is already stretched and there are limited new supply options,” he said.

Hegarty also said that, despite the current insufficient exploration, gold will continue to be seen as an alternative currency, while the limited supply of potash is creating strategic opportunities.