Support for critical minerals breakthroughs

Joint media release with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The Albanese Government is accelerating the growth of the critical minerals sector and supporting clean-energy technologies through new initiatives as part of efforts to reach net zero.

A new National Critical Minerals Strategy is being developed in consultation with industry and community stakeholders, including traditional owners.

Australia has some of the world’s largest reserves of critical minerals and a new National Critical Minerals Strategy will set out a clear vision for the sector.

The Strategy will complement other Government initiatives including the National Battery Strategy and the Electric Vehicle Strategy.

The National Reconstruction Fund will include the $1 billion Value Adding in Resources Fund which will work alongside the $2 billion Critical Minerals Facility.

These initiatives will expand Australia’s mining science technology capability, diversify supply chains, create local jobs and help drive growth in the critical minerals sector including rare earths - a key component of low-emissions technologies, such as batteries, electric vehicles and solar panels.

Additionally, next week’s Budget will include $50.5 million over four years to establish the Australian Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub to help unlock our nation’s critical minerals potential.

The Hub will combine expertise from Geoscience Australia, the CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to work with Australian industry to address technical challenges and support international research and development collaborations.

The Government will also allocate $50 million over three years to the Critical Minerals Development Program for competitive grants to support early and mid-stage critical minerals projects, building on the $50 million recently committed to six key projects across Australia.

The International Energy Agency projects mineral demand for use in electric vehicles and battery storage could grow at least thirty times to 2040.

Australia is the world’s largest lithium producer, and latest figures forecast the value of lithium exports are due to increase more than 10 fold over two years, from $1.1 billion in 2020-21 to almost $14 billion in 2022-23, with continued growth over future years.

The development of a battery industry could contribute $7.4 billion annually to our economy and support 34,700 jobs by 2030.

Information about the National Critical Minerals Strategy consultation is available on the Department of Industry, Science and Resources consultation page.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“Australia’s natural resources have powered our nation and we are committed to supporting the critical minerals sector and new clean technologies to reach our target of net zero, and make our nation an economic powerhouse with a clean energy future.

“Today’s new initiatives will ensure we can create and support local jobs, diversify global supply chains and meet the growing demand for batteries, electric vehicles and clean energy technology.

“These minerals will be critical to Australia achieving net zero emissions, and to helping the rest of the world make that transition as well.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King:

“This package of measures demonstrates our commitment to net zero and the important role the resources sector can play in our energy transition.

“We are investing in the science and R&D collaborations. We are backing projects that are early to mid-stage, as well as helping to fast-track financing for projects which are further along in their development.

“The new Critical Minerals Strategy will be developed in consultation with the industry and experts, and will help the government identify how it can best support the growth of a sector that will be crucial to help the world reach its low-emissions goals.

“The new measures will help bring online new sources of supply, support robust supply chains, and create high-paying regional jobs for Australians while improving Australia’s export resilience.

“Building on the sector by generating new downstream industries and diversifying global supply chains will help Australia and its partners to meet net zero commitments.

“Without Australia’s resources, the world will not reach net zero.”