Metals

Aeon Metals’ flagship is the 100% owned Walford Creek.

Renewable energy transition

Battery and electrification metals are pivotal in solving some of today’s greatest environmental challenges.

Technologies that are critical for fighting climate change rely on coppercobaltzinc and lead making them essential metals for a low-carbon future. Their ability to increase energy efficiency means they are favourable for renewable energy systems which require significantly more copper and cobalt than traditional energy systems.

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are looking to produce more energy efficient electric vehicles and battery storage systems which is enabled by cobalt. The use our metals will continue to increase as manufacturers look to produce more energy efficient electric vehicles and battery storage systems.

COPPER IN RENEWABLE SYSTEMS

  • A transition metal with a single valence electron, it is ductile, conductive and exhibits low reactivity.
  • Currently the most efficient, cost effective material for use in cables, batteries, transistors and inverters.
  • Ductile properties allows it to be rolled into sheets and pulled into wires without breaking.
  • High thermal and electrical conductivity is used in renewable energy systems to generate, store and transmit power from solar, hydro, thermal and wind energy across the world.
  • An infinitely recyclable resource and can be reused without any loss in performance. Recycling copper saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and extends the life of natural resources.

COBALT IN RENEWABLE SYSTEMS

  • Exhibits a special magnetic property known as ferromagnetism, the ability to become strongly magnetised in the direction of a magnetic field when subjected to one.
  • Has a special ability to retain strength and magnetic properties at high temperatures making it an essential part of lithium-ion batteries.
  • Its high energy density allows batteries to be lightweight and energy dense, supplying them with the range and durability needed by consumers.
  • Its recyclability and energy storage capabilities promote a more sustainable, greener EV battery supply chain.

NICKEL IN RENEWABLE SYSTEMS

  • Hard, malleable, ductile metal with a valency of two
  • A good conductor of heat and energy
  • Helps deliver higher energy density and greater storage capacity in batteries at a lower cost

ZINC IN RENEWABLE SYSTEMS

  • High heat capacity and heat conductivity.
  • Forms an impervious coating of its own oxide on exposure to the atmosphere and hence the metal is more resistant to ordinary atmospheres than iron and corrodes at a much lower rate.

Supply and demand fundamentals

We expect the demand for our metals to increase significantly in line with the growth of renewable energy generation, storage and transmission sectors.

Cobalt

  • Main use has historically been li-ion batteries for portable devices, representing 50-60% of available material
  • Aeon expects portable and electric vehicle battery requirements to dominate near-future demand growth
  • Strong demand for ethically sourced cobalt

Copper

  • Historic primary use in power cables and wiring
  • Has a diverse range of additional uses including pipes, taps, value fittings and roof plates
  • Aeon expects renewable energy infrastructure to be the single largest driver for future copper demand

Nickel

  • Mainly used as an additive in stainless steel (>65%) and many other alloys
  • Continued trend to high-nickel chemistry batteries
  • Aeon expects battery use to dominate future demand growth

Zinc

  • Primarily used for corrosion protection in wind energy production
  • Present in solar cells and for corrosion protection in solar panel structures
  • Future demand potential in next generation battery technology

Long-term mine decline and challenges associated with the next major phase of global copper and cobalt projects creates a ready need for new mine developments.

Cobalt

  • Majority of mine production comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (68% in 2021)
  • Australia and the US are developing projects which will bring incremental supply to the market by 2027

Copper

  • Mine supply expected to peak in 2025 before falling due to depletion
  • Important Chilean and Peruvian supply risk could manifest in lower-than-expected outputs

Nickel

  • Indonesia is currently the most significant producer, with capacity additions expected to continue
  • Non-Indonesia supply (from major producers) has experienced losses in recent years

Zinc

  • Chinese domestic extraction of Zinc expected to continue to decline
  • We believe resource base replenishment projects will not meet growing demand for zinc ore

OUR RESPONSE

Increasing demand for responsibly sourced cobalt.

Aeon is targeting the production of premium, high purity metals from the Walford Creek Project. The new metallurgical flowsheet design explored in the scoping study, enables the recovery of metals into high quality end products required for renewable energy technology.

An average petrol-powered car uses about 20kg of copper, mainly as wiring, while a fully electric car has roughly 80kg of copper. Copper demand from wind power installations could more than double by 2030.

McKinsey has estimated a 43% potential increase in copper demand by 2035.

New zinc mines are needed to sustain world demand.

We believe global zinc ore extraction at existing mines will reach a peak in 2024, just exceeding the 14 million mt mark. Extraction is likely to enter a stage of decline thereafter as ore quality deteriorates and certain reserve fields approach end of life.

Nickel use in batteries continues to grow strongly, Macquarie estimates that 1.3 Mtpa will be required by 2030. Off a base of 350ktpa in 2021, it is clear the challenge to meet this demand is large.

Continued booming demand for Nickel in both stainless steel and EV batteries.

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