Milestone in India and Australia critical minerals investment partnership

India and Australia have reached a major milestone in working towards investment in critical minerals projects to develop supply chains between the two countries. 

Ministers from the two countries have also agreed to deepen cooperation and extend their existing commitments to the Australia-India Critical Minerals Investment Partnership.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King and India’s Honourable Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Shri Pralhad Joshi, held bilateral talks on Friday and announced the Partnership had identified five target projects (two lithium and three cobalt) on which to undertake detailed due diligence.

Investments under the Partnership will seek to build new supply chains underpinned by critical minerals processed in Australia that will help India’s plans to lower emissions from its electricity network and become a global manufacturing hub, including for electric vehicles.

“India’s goals to lower carbon emissions and boost electric vehicle production presents great opportunities and prospects for Australia’s critical minerals sector, for renewable exports and for building stronger supply chains,” Minister King said.

“We are delighted to announce we have completed the first phase of work under the Partnership, and taken an important step to building new, robust and sustainable supply chains between India and Australia for the key battery minerals such as lithium and cobalt.

“Through market soundings and working with commercial advisers, we have identified five projects on which the parties will proceed to sign non-disclosure agreements and begin undertaking detailed due diligence.

“Working together, both the nations are committed to reducing emissions, guaranteeing energy security and diversifying global markets for critical minerals and clean technologies.”

Australia produces almost half of the world’s lithium, is the second-largest producer of cobalt and the fourth-largest producer of rare earths. 

With the expected increase in global demand for low-emissions technologies over the next three decades, this partnership will go a long way towards securing mutually beneficial critical mineral supply chains. 

“The partnership between India’s KABIL and CMO Australia has reached the first milestone in a short span of one year from signing of the MoU in March 2022 between both the organisations”, observed Hon Minister Joshi. 

Hon Minister Joshi visited Western Australia in 2022 and toured Tianqi Lithium Energy’s Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Refinery. The partnership on critical minerals has taken further momentum after the visit of Minister Joshi to Western Australia.