Mining ministers support critical minerals cooperation

Federal, state and territory ministers for resources and mining have expressed support for Australia’s critical minerals sector and reaffirmed a commitment to attract foreign investment for resources projects after a roundtable in Brisbane.

The roundtable was held on the sidelines of the World Mining Congress, which has brought mining executives, investors and decision makers from around the world to Brisbane.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King used the ministerial roundtable to update state and territory ministers on the new Australian Critical Minerals Strategy, which sets a vision to build the sector and downstream processing of critical minerals, and to strengthen international partnerships and supply chains.

“The Australian Government is committed to working with the states and territories to boost the development of our critical minerals sector and create new jobs in processing those minerals into materials that are crucial for the clean energy future,” Minister King said.

“The Strategy sets out a plan for how Australia can become a globally significant producer of raw and processed critical minerals and boost economic opportunities for First Nations people and across regional communities.

“Through the Resources Ministers’ Roundtable, we are working to build a common understanding of how Governments can maximise these opportunities for the benefit of all Australians.”

Ministers also discussed the development of Australia’s Future Gas Strategy. State and territory jurisdictions will play an important role in shaping the development of the Strategy, which will articulate the future role of gas in supporting Australia’s energy system to reach 82 per cent renewables by 2030, and underwrite the energy security of our key trading partners.

The roundtable included representatives from all states and the Northern Territory and was the first to include the new NSW Minister for Natural Resources, the Hon Courtney Houssos MLC.

Earlier, Minister King addressed to the World Mining Congress special symposium and said the global shift to clean energy and lower emissions will require more mining to meet the demand for low-emissions technologies.

She said recent International Energy Agency analysis says by 2030, the world will need around 50 new lithium mines, 60 new nickel mines and 17 new cobalt mines in order to meet 2030 emissions goals.

Minister King said mining and downstream processing companies also needed to do more to reduce emissions and minimise harmful impacts on our environment and biodiversity.

“With the world on the cusp of an energy transformation, these are exciting times for the global mining sector. There are vast opportunities ahead for Australia in this transformation,” Minister King said.

“Fully realising them, however, will involve mining companies embracing new responsibilities and obligations.

“These include a commitment to enhancing our environmental and social governance credentials and serious pledges to reduce carbon emissions at source and downstream.”