AustralianSuper boosts critical minerals to A$12bn

Pilbara Minerals' Pilgan plant

Pilbara Minerals' Pilgan plant

16th May 2024

By: Bloomberg


Font size: - +

AustralianSuper, the nation’s largest pension fund, has amassed a A$12-billion critical minerals portfolio that it plans to increase in the next five years.

The A$335-billion fund is poised to “expand in that sector” with more investments in Australian companies, senior portfolio manager Luke Smith said in an interview Tuesday. That would build its already overweight position in lithium, vanadium, rare earths and other critical minerals vital for the energy transition.

“We will have out-sized investments in that space for the next five years-plus,” Smith said. “It’s absolutely still a great thematic to invest in, the energy transition.”

Smith was speaking before the federal government pledged later Tuesday to spend A$22.7-billion on its Future Made in Australia program. Industries involved in critical minerals, hydrogen and green metals will be among key beneficiaries.

Australia is among allies of the US seeking to break China’s dominance in producing and processing critical minerals that are becoming increasingly essential in the world’s bid to decarbonize. The measures are designed to stimulate high-end and green manufacturing, similar to President Joe Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA.

AustralianSuper already holds double-digit stakes in copper and gold miner Sandfire Resources and 29Metals, while it has built a 7% stake in Pilbara Minerals. Its suite of investments includes lithium, cobalt and graphite, while the fund also counts its copper holdings as among its critical-minerals assets.

In January, AustralianSuper said it would double its lithium exposure in the next five years, from about A$1-billion to between A$2.5-billion and A$3-billion.

Australia’s fast-growing A$3.7-trillion pension industry is hunting for investments domestically and abroad as the sector racks up A$2-billion of inflows each week.

More critical minerals companies are likely to be listed on Australia’s stock exchange, Smith said.

“There are opportunities across the various sectors,” he said. “Lithium: clearly there’s plenty.” The fund was also looking offshore for investments, with Smith adding there were some high-quality companies listed in London.

Like other large investors, Smith said the fund liked policy certainty.

“With policy certainty, you can get better investment and that’s a good thing for members,” he said, adding the IRA — enacted in 2022 and which offers tax credits on electric vehicles that are built with materials produced by free-trade partners such as Australia — was still in its early days. “We’re actually now starting to see action, which is great.”

Edited by Bloomberg



SAIMC (Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control)
SAIMC (Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control)

Education: Consulting with member companies to obtain the optimal benefits from their B-BBEE spending, skills resources as well as B-BBEE points


Rooted in the hearts of South Africans, combining technology and a quest for perfection to bring you a battery of peerless standing. Willard...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 10 May 2024
Magazine round up | 17 May 2024
17th May 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.207 0.247s - 108pq - 2rq
1: United States
Subscribe Now
2: United States