Australia ups critical minerals support to $6bn

Australia ups critical minerals support to $6bn

October 25, 2023 Off By Amanda Ellis

The Australian Government has increased its critical minerals financing by $2 billion, taking the nation’s resources value-adds to $6 billion, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promotes the development of a critical minerals supply-chain with the US.

Australia’s upped funding takes its federal Critical Minerals Facility support to $4 billion.

The move took place overnight on Tuesday (Washington time) during Albanese’s visit to the US.

It came after China unveiled more upcoming export controls for critical minerals last week.

Australian resource explorers and developers are seeing the two developments as an opportunity to advance projects for critical minerals, rare earths, lithium, graphite, nickel and gallium.

The companies hope to build and supply regional and international supply-chains for manufacturers in sectors such as the electric-vehicle-battery and consumer-electronics spaces.

Building a critical minerals supply-chain

Albanese and federal Resources Minister Madeleine King together confirmed the $2 billion funding expansion on Wednesday.

Australia’s announcement was made to Australian and US industry leaders in the US after the nations’ first Australia-United States Taskforce on Critical Minerals meeting.

The Albanese Government hopes its increased funding will help countries transition to net zero and boost Australia’s economy while creating jobs and other opportunities on local shores.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the critical minerals investment would benefit Australians with economic gains, skills, jobs and technology.

The funding is also expected to boost efforts to create a critical minerals supply-chain with the US.

“My government is committed to transforming Australia into a renewable energy superpower, and harnessing the critical minerals we have at home is crucial to achieving this,” the PM said.

“Australia is committed to building sustainable and secure critical minerals supply-chains with the United States. This is central to building a clean-energy future and delivering economic growth.

“The expansion of the Critical Minerals Facility will help to build supply chains with the United States and support our shared clean-energy, manufacturing and defence ambitions.”

Advancing a critical minerals alliance

Resources Minister Madeleine King said the trading partners’ Australia-US critical minerals taskforce would be a way to progress Australia’s work under their Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact.

The US-Australian compact puts climate and clean energy as the third pillar of Australia’s alliance with the US.

“This week we agreed on priority areas of work and immediate actions such as joint supply-chain mapping and deeper cooperation between our science agencies on critical minerals,” the national Resources Minister said. “The road to net zero runs through Australia’s resources sector.

“The Critical Minerals Facility is a cornerstone of (our) support, providing finance to strategically significant projects which can crowd in private investment.

“Coupled with our support for processing, we are well positioned to be a world-leading provider of critical minerals, including rare earths elements, and to support global efforts on clean-energy transformation.”

Promoting a critical minerals pillar

The Critical Minerals Facility is a cornerstone of the nation’s Critical Minerals Strategy 2023–2030, released mid-year.

Further information on the Australian facility is available from Export Finance Australia and the nation’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office.

The US’ Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals was released in 2019 and aims to strengthen the North American country’s critical mineral supply-chains and enhance international critical-minerals trade and cooperation.

Convening a critical minerals roundtable

Australia and the US will take part in the upcoming Critical Minerals Ministerial Roundtable and Reception in London on November 27.

Government delegations from Australia, Armenia, Canada, Chad, Nigeria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Czech Republic, Portugal, the UK and the US will attend the roundtable-reception.

US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt will be in attendance, in addition to mines and energy ministers from the Canadian provinces of Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario.

The Resourcing Tomorrow and Critical Minerals Association event is being hosted by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Groups, the informal cross-party groups known as the APPGs.

The Resourcing Tomorrow Accelerating the Energy Transition conference is a global mining sector event being held in London on November 28-30, aiming to grow valuable business relationships and share useful information, with details at resourcingtomorrow.com.

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