PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government has announced a A$20-million investment into a Global Resources Strategy, to help diversify exports and find new markets for Australia’s resources and Technology.
Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt on Friday said that the aim of the new strategy is to help strengthen Australian resources exports and promote Australia as a reliable and responsible supplier to the world.
“The strategy will also support global demand for Australian resources as the world recovers from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and help Australia build resilience to trade shocks,” Pitt said.
“Australia’s resources sector more than lived up to its reputation as a dependable, resilient and efficient supplier of major commodities to the world throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The new Global Resources Strategy will make sure Australian resources and innovation can build on that reputation and strength, to secure new markets and long-term benefits for the wellbeing of the sector and the Australian economy.
“The strategy will help boost investment in regional Australia by exploring new markets for our major commodities and critical minerals in the Indo-Pacific, Europe and North America.”
Pitt said on Friday that the strategy supports the jobs of 262 000 people who currently work in the sector and would help create even more jobs by seeing an expansion in our export markets.
“It will also support new investment in research and commercialisation of alternative uses for some of our commodities, and provide greater international focus for our world-leading and innovative mining engineering, technology and services sector.
“The strategy will support the Australian resources sector to remain the world’s supplier of choice for our major commodities as well as our critical minerals and new energy resources, such as hydrogen.”
The strategy will focus on building closer relationships with key trading partners through increased engagement at both government and industry levels.
“We’re looking to explore new export opportunities in South East Asia, where the World Energy Outlook reports demand for major commodities such as thermal coal is expected to increase beyond 2020 levels until 2030,” Pitt said.
“The strategy will also involve expert advice on opportunities for existing and emerging commodities such as hydrogen and critical minerals.”
The launch of the Global Resource Strategy comes as geopolitical tensions between Australia and China continue to escalate, with fears emerging that resource exports to the Asian major could be further impacted. Australian thermal coal exports to China have already been banned while copper concentrate shipments have also been affected.
China is also investigating the development of a number of iron-ore mines globally, in a bid to decrease its reliance on iron-ore imports, with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology having released a draft policy outlining China’s objectives of supplying at least 45% of its iron-ore needs from sources within its control.
Australia is the world’s largest iron-ore exporter, having exported some 868-million tonnes of iron-ore in 2020, with China remaining the nation’s largest export destination.