ABOUT AFRICAN EXPLORATION SHOWCASE
The 2019 African Exploration Showcase will focus on the metals and minerals critical to the technologies for a low carbon energy future:technology enabling commodities that are commonly referred to as“Critical Metals”.“Critical Metals” is not accurate in that commodities in this basket are not always metals (e.g. graphite); and ambiguous in that “critical”can refer to the significance of the commodity to a technology (i.e.the technology would not be viable without the commodity) as well as the security of supply of the commodity which is influenced by factors that change with time and locality.We prefer to use the term “Technology Commodities”. Due to the broad nature of the topic, the programme will be limited to those commodities essential to the “Green Energy” technologies and its value chain from power generation, to storage and consumption.The program will cover the commodity demands of electricity generation by wind turbines and solar (both photo-voltaic and concentrated solar plants) and battery storage for mobile (portable electronics, electric vehicles) and fixed/grid applications. Selected examples of commodities critical to the development of other modern technologies will also be reviewed.
The program will balance talks dealing with the technology factors contributing to the demand for the enabling commodity and provide insights into the present and future supply/demand balance, with presentations on advanced technology commodity projects in Africa.Speakers include Prof Jock Harmer who will discuss the potential contribution of African REE projects to breaking the Chinese near-monopoly of REE production (and debate whether technology commodities must necessarily be subject to boom and bust hype-cycles)The geology and supply/demand aspects of commodities required for lithium ion batteries will be discussed by Michael Cronwright(Lithium), Mike Venter (Graphite), Craig Blane (Cobalt). The program will also include a presentation on the current status of fuel cells – a technology long touted as a potential alternative non-CO2 emitting power source for motor vehicles.Paul Nex will discuss a selection of minor metals enabling modern technologies outside of the energy realm (and argue that technology commodities will inevitably be subject to boom and bust hype-cycles).Project specific presentations will be made by a number of the key players exploring for these commodities in African –including Li (Prospect Resources, Zimbabwe Lithium), Sn (Afritin)and Graphite.The program will end with a panel/open floor discussion of matters arising from the presentation and/or raised by members of the panel.Through the day the audience will be invited to submit questions and comments to presenters for inclusion in this open discussion.