New report shows Australia’s critical minerals are leading the way

Australia is a leading supplier of the minerals the world needs to reach net zero according to the latest Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources (AIMR) report.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King launched the report, published by Geoscience Australia, at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention in Toronto, Ontario. 

Minister King said Australia has the resources needed for the global energy transition and is producing them to the highest environmental, social and governance standards.  

“The road through net zero runs through Australia’s resources sector,” Minister King said.

“Australia’s resources are mined and processed to the highest standards – making them the cleanest and greenest in the world.

“Our geology means that we are home to globally significant deposits of minerals, these minerals will be crucial as the world turns to renewable technologies to decarbonise. 

“Government investment in precompetitive geoscience is critical to understanding quite literally what Australia is made of and to maintaining a pipeline of new critical mineral investment opportunities into the future.”

In 2022, Australia produced 27 minerals, 15 of which ranked in the top five for global supply. 

Of these 15, Australia ranked number one in the world for economic resources of gold, iron ore, lead, nickel, rutile, uranium, zinc and zircon. 

Other key highlights from AIMR 2023 include:  

  • Investment in mineral exploration increased by 13 per cent, to $4 billion.  
  • Australia remained the world’s largest producer of lithium (52 per cent of the global total), with lithium production up 36 per cent to a record 75 kilotonnes.  
  • Australia also ranked as the world’s largest producer of bauxite, iron ore and rutile.  
  • Uranium production was up 20 per cent.   

Additionally, 13 critical minerals saw their Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDR) increase significantly during 2022. This included manganese ore (up by 79 per cent), platinum group elements (up by 45 per cent), and rare earth elements (up by 34 per cent). In addition, the EDR of tin, a strategic material, was up by 6 per cent.  

Drawing on over 45 years of data, AIMR 2023 identifies important trends in reserves, resources and mine production, and provides a snapshot of potential resource life and future supply capability.  

Minister King said that the insights in AIMR 2023 help to unlock the nation’s critical minerals and strategic materials potential. 

The AIMR digital publication is available at: