Positioning Australia as a critical minerals powerhouse
28 March 2019
Joint media release with the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, The Hon Simon Birmingham
The Liberal-National Government has today launched a new strategy to elevate Australia as a world powerhouse in the minerals that will underpin the industries of the future including agritech, aerospace, defence, renewable energy and telecommunications.
Released today, Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy 2019 maps out a vision for Australia as a world leader in exploration, extraction, production and the processing of critical minerals.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said there were significant economic opportunities for Australia as global demand for critical minerals grew.
“Investing in critical minerals supports the nation’s economy and will create more jobs for Australians by growing our resources sector,” Minister Canavan said.
“Australia has abundant critical minerals, a world-class resources sector and a strongly supportive Government – essential to positioning ourselves as a reliable and secure international supplier of many critical minerals.
“The strategy highlights the extensive work already underway and sets out actions the government is taking to strengthen Australia’s critical minerals industry by targeting the three ‘i's – investment, innovation and infrastructure – to remove barriers for the sector.”
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham who attended a ceremony today in Kemerton to mark the start of construction of Albemarle’s lithium processing plant said Australia was uniquely placed to capture the value on offer through rising global demand for critical minerals.
”We have some of the world’s richest stocks of critical minerals and while the market for some of our minerals such as lithium is relatively mature, other minerals markets such as cobalt remain largely underdeveloped in Australia,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We’ve got the stocks, we have the potential and now we need to develop the downstream and high-value activities right here in Australia such as processing and manufacturing.
“With critical minerals driving much of the innovation and technological development in industries such as defence, space, energy and advanced manufacturing, there are huge economic opportunities here in Australia.
“Our next challenge is about attracting and locking-in domestic and overseas investment needed to actually get projects off the ground that will take our sector to the next level.
“That’s why a key part of this strategy is about how industry and government agencies such as Austrade can work together to promote our potential to the world to attract more international investment, particularly in downstream projects and greenfield opportunities.”
An Australian Critical Minerals Investment Prospectus compiled by Austrade and Geoscience Australia will soon be published on the Austrade website, providing detailed technical, commercial and geological data on the 24 critical minerals identified in the strategy.
The Liberal-National Government’s new Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy can be found at www.industry.gov.au/CMStrategy
Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180
Senator Birmingham's office 02 6277 7420