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Ministers agree to coordinate critical minerals efforts

24th March 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australia’s federal, state and territory resources and mining ministers have agreed to coordinate efforts to support the development of Australia’s critical minerals sector following a critical minerals roundtable in Perth.

Resources Minister Madeleine King said on Friday that the development of the critical minerals sector was a national mission which was essential if Australia was to help the world lower emissions and achieve net zero commitments.

“This was the first ministerial roundtable since 2020, and over the past three years global demand for Australia’s critical minerals has increased dramatically,” King said. 

“Ministers agreed that the development of our critical minerals sector is a national priority which will lead to new economic opportunities, particularly for regional Australia, and will help produce the materials needed to lower emissions in Australia and around the world.”

King said Australia had vast reserves of the critical minerals that were essential for net-zero technologies such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, battery storage and solar panels.

“The road to global net zero passes through Australia's resources industry and our emerging critical minerals sector,” she added.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated the world needs to rapidly build secure and resilient supply chains for critical minerals to meet global demand for low-emissions technologies.

King said the ministerial roundtable discussed how governments could support the growth of Australia’s critical minerals sector by ensuring projects were approved in a timely manner, while ensuring rigorous protections for the environment and communities.

Ministers also discussed the importance of developing policies to encourage investment in critical minerals and processing infrastructure and highlighted the need for further efforts in exploration and creating common user infrastructure.

King said ministers agreed to use the ministerial roundtable as a regular meeting to foster collaboration, growth and investment in the critical minerals sector.

The Australian government is developing a new Critical Minerals Strategy to be released later in 2023. King said the ministerial roundtable was an opportunity to ensure the new strategy draws on expert views and knowledge across all Australian states and territories.

King earlier this week revealed that the Critical Minerals Strategy was due for release in the first half of this year.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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