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Aus/Japan strike critical minerals partnership

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Photo by Reuters

24th October 2022

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Just days after announcing the development of a Critical Minerals Strategy, the Australian government signed a new critical minerals partnership with Japan to help build secure supply chains.

The partnership will establish a framework for building secure critical minerals supply chains between Australia and Japan, and promote opportunities for information sharing and collaboration, including research, investment and commercial arrangements between Japan and Australian projects.

The partnership will support the further development of Australia’s critical minerals sector, to ensure Japan has the supply of critical minerals required for its advanced manufacturing sector.

“We’ve committed to more cooperation to strengthen the supply chain of critical minerals, including those that are required for building the green technologies of the future,” said Prime Minster Anthony Albanese.

“This partnership will mean we build secure supply chains, promote investment, develop Australia’s domestic sector and make sure Japan’s advanced manufacturers have the critical minerals they need.”

Resources Minister Madeleine King said the new partnership underlined the ongoing strength of Australia’s deep ties and ongoing trade relationship with Japan and would build on existing trade supply chains.

“This new partnership will be a welcome boost to Australia’s critical minerals sector and will help Australia further develop its abundant reserves of critical minerals which will ultimately help both countries achieve their emissions reductions targets,” King said.

“The partnership will help to open up more foreign investment in our critical minerals sector and will increase collaboration between our two counties on the development of critical minerals.”

Australia has some of the world’s largest reserves of critical minerals, including rare earths, which are crucial components of clean energy technologies such as batteries, wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar panels and hydrogen electrolysers.

King said the partnership was a natural progression of Australia’s long-established role as a stable and reliable supplier of minerals and energy to Japan, and underlined Australia’s growing role as a global supplier of critical minerals.

“The new partnership will help drive the development of Australia’s critical minerals sector and promote more foreign investment into crucial projects which will mine, develop and process these essential minerals,” she said.

“The Australian government is working with our international partners, state and territory governments and industry to position Australia as a world leader in exploration, extraction, production and processing of critical minerals.

“These resources not only support Australia’s standard of living, they will pave the way to a clean energy future for Australia, for Japan and for the world.”

The federal government last week announced the development of a National Critical Minerals Strategy to complement other government initiatives including the National Battery Strategy and the Electric Vehicle Strategy.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said that the new strategy, with input from industry and community stakeholders, would be vital for the future of critical minerals in the country.

“A comprehensive strategy and national approach is essential to ensuring the mining industry continues to drive Australia’s economic prosperity, as it has done for over a decade. This strategy is vital for both Australia and our trading partners aiming to reduce the carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050.

“Such goals will create a more resource-intensive global economy that requires substantial growth in the production of critical minerals including lithium, copper, rare earth elements and nickel,” MCA CEO Tania Constable said.

“The government’s new strategy must focus on the broad policy settings required for Australia to maximise its share of this investment opportunity. Australia has some of the world’s largest reserves of critical minerals, but will face significant competition for the capital required to develop these assets. 

“Improving productivity lies at the heart of this challenge and urgent policy changes are needed.

“The development of Australia’s critical minerals industry is reliant on ensuring Australia remains an attractive investment destination. Government policies must establish a domestic regulatory environment which delivers investment certainty by not adding unnecessary time and cost to project approvals,” she said.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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