PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt has reiterated Australia’s aspirations to become a world leader in the exploration, extraction, production and processing of critical minerals.
Speaking at the International Mining and Resources Conference, Pitt noted that the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office was established to coordinate and deliver on this goal.
“Covid has highlighted the importance of critical minerals and improving the security of global supply chains. Whether it is mobile phones and laptops, medical equipment or electric cars, rare earths are the essential component of so much manufacturing today and into the future,” the Minister said on Tuesday.
“We will be working with the sector to develop roadmaps identifying roadblocks and growth opportunities, for both mining and processing, and I know this work will benefit immensely from the progress already made by Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Ignited.”
The government earlier this year launched its second edition of the Australian Critical Minerals Prospectus, showcasing the country’s significant capability in critical minerals in a bid to attract investment.
The Prospectus identifies new significant commercial opportunities in hundreds of critical minerals and rare earth elements projects across Australia, and details over 200 potential investments in a wide-range of critical minerals including in lithium where it is already the world’s largest producer and other minerals including cobalt, manganese, antimony, zirconium, titanium, tantalum, zirconium, tungsten, vanadium and niobium.
Meanwhile, Pitt told delegates on Tuesday that the government was also working towards lightening "onerous regulations" that would impede investment and job creation in the resources sector.
“That’s why the government has asked the Productivity Commission to review how we can reduce the regulatory burden on the resources sector. Its final report is due later this year and in the meantime we are pushing on with the reforms to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
“Certainty, transparency and enhanced efficiency are the hallmarks of good regulation, and this will guide any further reforms we make,” the Minister said.