Australian explorers raise record quarterly cash: BDO report

A latest quarterly report from advisory firm BDO has found that Australian minerals explorers have raised the most funds in nearly a decade, as climate-conscious investors flood into copper, lithium and other battery metals projects.

Australian-listed explorers raised A$2.37 billion (US$1.81 billion) in the March 2021 quarter – the most since BDO started the series in 2013 – and almost double the same period last year during the first COVID-19 wave.

“There’s no doubt about where the money’s going and why it’s going there,” Sherif Andrawes, BDO’s head of global natural resources, said.

The surge in funding toward battery minerals and clean energy companies is in line with growing environment social and governance (ESG) initiatives including rising electric vehicle adoption and lower carbon emission targets, he said.

The gold sector also continued to receive strong investment, with 10 gold miners raising more than $10 million over the quarter, although Andrawes remarked that momentum in capital raisings has eased since the price peaked last August, suggesting that gold explorers are well capitalised.

Among the other companies to raise over $10 million, nine were lithium, four uranium, four rare earths and four graphite-focused outfits. The remaining companies covered 14 different sectors, most notably copper-gold, copper and oil and gas, BDO said.