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WA unveils refreshed battery and critical minerals strategy

22nd May 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter

     

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The Western Australian government has unveiled its updated Battery and Critical Minerals Strategy, drawing applause from industry stakeholders and signalling the state’s commitment to solidifying its position as a global leader in the downstream processing of critical minerals.

The strategy, welcomed by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME), aims to guide the state as it navigates evolving market conditions and strives to capitalise on its mineral resources.

While no new funding has been announced alongside the strategy, with the $500-million Strategic Industries Fund being announced in the recent state Budget 2024/25, the refreshed strategy focuses on a range of issues that need addressing, such as strategic industrial land.

The Critical Minerals Production Tax Incentive announced in the federal Budget 2024/25 will provide significant help to companies looking to develop downstream processing in Australia.

Amec CEO Warren Pearce expressed support for the refreshed strategy, emphasising the importance of adapting to industry shifts.

“It makes sense to refresh the critical minerals strategy as the industry evolves and market conditions change.”

“It shows the priority the WA government places on critical minerals, with some other states yet to even release a critical minerals strategy,” he said.

CME president Rebecca Tomkinson echoed Pearce’s sentiments, noting the need for policies that reflect the industry’s operating environment. She underscored the importance of competitiveness, stressing the role of government support in facilitating a conducive regulatory framework.

“A more efficient approvals system means greater certainty for businesses looking to invest and works to improve Australia’s competitive position,” said Tomkinson.

Both Amec and CME highlighted the importance of strategic investments and infrastructure development in driving industry growth.

Tomkinson said the provision of common user infrastructure and investment-ready industrial areas helped ensure upfront capital costs were contained and provided more certainty on project approval timeframes, but warned government budget allocations were conservative when compared with other international jurisdictions.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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