Follow us

The resources industry (which for the purposes of this article includes resources and energy companies) continues to play a significant role in Australian equity capital markets. An overwhelming majority of IPOs by number in 2023 were resources companies and secondary raisings of at least $50 million by resources companies also contributed to almost half of the total capital raised.

Resources continue to play a significant role


Whilst the IPO market in 2023 continued to be relatively quiet by historical standards, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) continues to be an attractive bourse for companies in the resources sector to access public capital markets to progress their projects, with 24 of the 33 IPOs in Australia (75%) being undertaken by companies in the resources sector. Whist accounting for the vast majority of IPO activity in 2024 by number, IPOs by resources companies accounted for only 30% of the total capital raised by IPOs for the year given that over 80% of the resources IPOs were by early stage exploration companies raising $10 million or less. 

The market’s interest in critical minerals (as also seen in a number of high-profile control transactions) was reflected in the IPO market. A majority of the IPOs involved companies pursuing critical minerals opportunities, with 10 of the IPOs involving companies that include lithium as a focus and 8 companies that include rare earths as a focus. In addition, with strong gold prices, 2023 also saw 5 IPOs from gold focused companies. 

Secondary raisings

Looking at secondary raisings in Australia of at least $50 million in 2023, it is unsurprising that almost half of the raisings related to companies in the resources sector given the capital intensity of the industry and the need to raise capital to continue exploration activities prior to project development and realising cash flows. The structure of secondary raisings used by the resources companies were predominately: 

  • placement and share purchase plan (43%); 
  • placement (29%); and
  • placement and accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer (19%),

providing the companies with rapid and certain access to funds.

Generally, the funds raised by the resources companies were used for the following purposes: 

  • exploration activities and/or production and mining activities such as Azure Minerals Limited, Bowen Coking Coal Ltd, Chalice Mining Limited, De Grey Mining Limited and Wildcat Resources Limited; 
  • acquisition of assets such as AuTECO Minerals Ltd in relation to its acquisition of the Green Bay copper-gold project in Canada, Genesis Minerals Limited in relation to its acquisition of St Barbara Limited’s Leonora assets and Nickel Industries Limited in relation to its acquisition of 10% interests in two producing nickel assets; and
  • de-risking, providing liquidity and/or balance sheet repair such as 29Metals Limited, Liontown Resources Limited and Red 5 Limited. 

Resources in 2024

Australian capital markets have been a consistent source of capital for resources companies over the years – being accustomed to the cyclical and sometimes volatile nature of the commodity price cycle and being prepared to fund their exploration activities directed at finding the “next big thing”. Therefore, despite the recent volatility and in some cases reductions in commodity prices such as lithium and nickel, in 2024 we expect to see continued IPO activity for small cap exploration companies bringing new assets to the public markets across all commodities as well as further capital raisings targeted at a specific purpose by critical minerals focused companies in particular as they race to bring on supply of these minerals to meet expected future demand that will be generated by the global energy transition that is rapidly gaining pace.

Note on methodology: This article uses the same methodology as that used for IPOs, see 2023: IPOs by the numbers

Turning tides:

The Australian ECM Review 2023

Key contacts

Paul Branston photo

Paul Branston

Partner, Perth

Paul Branston
Charlotte Cameron photo

Charlotte Cameron

Senior Associate, Perth

Charlotte Cameron

Stay in the know

We’ll send you the latest insights and briefings tailored to your needs

Sydney Perth Brisbane Melbourne Paul Branston Charlotte Cameron