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Australia well placed to profit from critical minerals exports

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Australia could become a major global supplier of minerals critical to 21st century technologies, according to Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan.

The Critical Minerals in Australia: A Review of Opportunities and Research Needs report was released in early March.

Upon the release, Canavan said Australia was well placed to produce significant extra wealth from its extensive mineral resources, and world-class mining expertise.

Commissioned by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with RMIT University and Monash University, the report analyses the current state of critical minerals in Australia and highlights key areas for future research.

“Australia is already demonstrating it can meet the needs of key trading partners in a range of critical minerals,” said Canavan.

“We are one of the world’s top five producers of antimony, cobalt, lithium and rare earths, minerals rated as ‘critical’ by the US, UK or EU.

“The growing list of new and emerging technologies using critical minerals includes advanced manufacturing and health applications, rechargeable batteries, renewable energy systems and electric cars,” he said.

Minister Canavan said the Australian government is committed to ensuring Australia reaches its potential as a global supplier of critical minerals.

“The Australia’s National Resources Statement released in February 2019 outlined the development of a national strategy through the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council to harness the emerging opportunities offered by the critical minerals sector.

“We also announced critical minerals projects would be prioritised in the latest industry funding round, which closes on March 28,” said Canavan.

“By investing in critical minerals, we’re helping to grow our resources sector, driving the nation’s economy and creating more jobs.

“We’re engaging with our key trading partners on critical minerals. Late last year, I signed a Letter of Intent with my counterpart from the United States agreeing to collaborate on joint activities in the area of critical minerals,” he said.

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