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International partnerships critical to critical minerals - King

13th April 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( - Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King has highlighted the importance of international partnerships, specifically those with Japan and the US, in developing Australia’s critical minerals industry.

Speaking at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on Thursday, King said that the recent legislation introduced in the US to financially support the development of critical minerals, brought "an unprecedented level of horsepower to the twin challenges of tackling climate change and diversifying supply chains".

“Australia is in an excellent position to play a globally significant role. We have extraordinary deposits of critical minerals, including rare earth elements, a highly skilled mining sector, a stable investment environment, strong regulatory arrangements, and robust environmental, social and governance standards.

“It’s why we enjoy a reputation as a trusted strategic partner to many of the world’s major economies. We can build on our advantages, countering national and regional supply risks by building our processing capabilities and moving up the value chain,” King said.

“By establishing new sources of supply for critical minerals, and by playing a greater role in onshore processing, we can help make these markets stronger, more efficient, more resilient and more transparent.

“This will require a lot of time, effort and investment, and cannot be done without strong international partnerships and cooperation.”

King noted that while Australia boasted significant endowments of several critical minerals, the country did not have sufficient capital to develop these projects on its own.

“Foreign investment from like-minded partners will be crucial to getting Australian projects off the ground. Just as it was critical to get our iron-ore and liquified natural gas industries going decades ago. They are now the backbone of the national economy.

The Minister said on Thursday that events during the Covid-19 pandemic, including supply chain disruptions, energy price spikes and geopolitical tensions, had highlighted the dangers of centralised supply.

“China enjoys an unchallenged position across many aspects of the global critical minerals market, having invested in its sector for decades. This has, in many ways, benefitted other countries.

“The scale of China’s manufacturing and demand has played a key role in driving down the cost of crucial technologies like solar cells, rechargeable batteries, and electric motors.

Working together, like-minded partners can build new, diverse, resilient and sustainable supply chains as part of a global hedge against concentration,” King said.

“Diversity, as opposed to concentration, is an intrinsic good and in the interest of all nations,” the Minister said.

She added that strengthening the critical minerals sector was undeniably a priority for Australia and its strategic partners.

“Australia’s rich critical mineral endowments provide an ideal opportunity to work alongside our partners to improve supply chains for clean energy transition, defence and infrastructure. The development of supply chains will take time and concerted effort, but it’s incredibly important,” King said.

“Australia will need to build on all its existing international relationships to ensure all of these important agreements translate into action and the ultimate achievement of diverse, robust and secure supply chains of critical minerals and rare earth elements that the world will need for the technologies that help us reach a decarbonised world.

“The Australian government will lean into this national effort to facilitate the international investment required to create an expansive critical minerals and rare earth element sector for the benefit of Australia and its partners.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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