Government backs critical minerals for energy, jobs and defence

The Albanese Government has today updated the list of critical minerals deemed essential to the nation’s energy and security requirements, also releasing a new Strategic Materials List of commodities and plans to scope the creation of Strategic Critical Minerals Hubs around the country. 

The updated Critical Minerals List has been expanded to add fluorine, molybdenum, arsenic, selenium, and tellurium. Helium has been removed, aligning Australia’s list more closely to the lists of our international strategic partners.

Critical minerals are crucial to the energy transition, and the newly listed commodities are all used in the defence and technology sectors. 

In addition to the updated Critical Minerals List, the new Strategic Materials List identifies commodities essential for the energy transition, but which are not at risk of supply chain disruptions. 

The new Strategic Materials list will include copper, nickel, aluminium, phosphorous, tin, and zinc, which have well-established industries, greater global market depth, clearer price transparency, and stable supply chains.

The Strategic Critical Minerals Hubs feasibility study will explore where Commonwealth and state and territory governments could support critical minerals infrastructure precincts producing commodities likely to become subject to supply chain disruptions. 

The updated critical minerals list and the strategic hubs feasibility study flow from recommendations of the Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy, released in June, as well as feedback from industry on supporting critical minerals development, and discussions with State and Territory resources ministers.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the changes followed extensive consultations with industry, the public, and states and territories, and would support Australia’s growth as a major exporter of clean energy materials.

“The updated Critical Minerals List and the new list of Strategic Materials will help government focus on those commodities needed to create jobs, keep us secure and power our economy,” Minister King said.

“These minerals are critical to the greening of our economy and the defence of Australia and our allies.

“The Critical Minerals List and Strategic Materials List will be updated on an as-needed basis, as economic and geostrategic dynamics evolve.

“Australian copper, nickel, aluminium, phosphorous, tin and zinc will be vital to the world’s energy transition, which is why for the first time ever we have articulated their economic and strategic importance by creating the new Strategic Materials List. 

“Australia is well placed to meet increasing global demand for minerals, with large endowments, technical expertise and established resources supply chains,” Minister King said.

Details of the updated list are available on the Department of Industry, Science and Resources website.