Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention


Welcome to this reception which is being hosted by the Australian Pavilion exhibitors at this year’s PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) Convention.

It is a great pleasure to be here, alongside other exhibitors and representatives from industry and government, for this event.

Can I acknowledge in particular: 

  • The Honourable Scott Ryan, High Commissioner to Canada
  • Senator Susan McDonald, Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. 
  • Senior representatives from the Australian Geoscience agencies, the United States Geological Survey and Geological Survey of Canada 
  • DISR Secretary Meghan Quinn.

This morning, I officially opened the Australia Minerals booth, and my congratulations must go to all involved.

We always put on a tremendous display at this event and this year is no different. I am looking forward to seeing more of the exhibits tomorrow.

Like me, you’re probably all excited to be here – it’s my first time in Toronto.

Without exception, Australians are always greeted warmly by our Canadian counterparts (fortunate, given the temps here are a little chillier).

I’m not sure whether you’re aware, but I’ve just come from a spell of record-breaking heat in my home state of Western Australia – we had 8 days over 40 degrees, so weather like this is sweet relief.

Weather aside, both Canada and Australia have a lot in common.

We share a great deal of common ground when it comes to mining and resources.

We are both blessed with abundant resources distributed across vast landmasses. 

And our resources and energy exports have underpinned our economic growth, sustained jobs and supported our standard of living for decades.

The resources and mining links between both nations go back centuries. 

During the 1850s, British North Americans, including villagers from Barrington, Nova Scotia, and Carbonear, Newfoundland, mined gold in various parts of Australia.

Today, Canada and Australia are both global leaders in mineral extraction.

We are also both home to many critical minerals and rare earths projects - including many that are vital inputs for electric vehicles and the rapidly growing clean technology sectors.

The importance of sustainable and secure minerals production is one area where both nations are in steadfast agreement.

Australia and Canada both boast strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies. And that includes good conditions for workers and high safety and workplace standards.

We take our environmental, social and governance responsibilities seriously. 

It is important we help the world understand the importance of the provenance of the minerals we extract and process which are essential to decarbonising the global economy. 

If the goal of this economic transformation is to help the planet, we need to be careful to ensure that the materials we use to build renewable technologies are as clean and green as they can be. 

And we must always remember and respect the workforce behind our great resources sectors.

Minerals mined in Australia and Canada are produced by workers who are properly paid, rightly enjoy good conditions, and work within an exceptional safety focussed environment so they can return home at the end of a shift or a long swing away from home. That is something every worker should expect. 

Some might suggest that, with so much in common, Australia and Canada could be seen as great competitors for investments in our respective mining sectors.

This may have been true a decade ago, but the unprecedented global demand for critical resources has changed the nature of our relationship.

What we do now is work together and learn from each other's experiences.

The entire world is seeking access to critical minerals and rare earths, and that opens up immense opportunities for both of us.

The International Energy Agency projects that global supply from existing mines and projects under construction will not be enough to meet demand.

It will only meet half the world’s projected demand for lithium and cobalt, for example. 

This means that there is a need for more exploration and more mining.

And one of the most effective ways we can do this is through international collaboration and partnership-building with our friends and allies, many of whom are here at this conference. 

That’s why events like this are so vital as we all attempt to (as the convention theme suggests) ‘strike a balance for responsible mining and the energy transition'.

I was pleased this morning to launch three maps and reports at the booth that will certainly help the competitiveness of Australia’s minerals sector.

‘Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources’, ‘Australian Operating Mines Map’ and ‘Australian Critical Minerals Map’ were produced by our national Earth science organisation, Geoscience Australia.

They are exceptional tools that will help us keep tabs on mining and minerals data from across the length and breadth of our country, assisting both the government and the mining sector.

Earlier this year, in Tokyo I released Australia’s updated Critical Minerals Prospectus which showcases 52 high-quality, investment ready projects.

The prospectus is used widely across international markets by investors, offtakers, foreign governments, and original equipment manufacturers as the go-to source of Australian-based investment-ready critical minerals projects that have satisfied major development milestones.

If you don’t already have a copy of these publications, make sure you get to the Australian Pavilion tomorrow and the team will help you out.

Congratulations to Geoscience Australia and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission for their work on these crucial items.

It is the exceptional work of Geoscience Australia that lets the world know what Australia is made of. 

If you don’t already have a copy, make sure you get to the Australian Pavilion tomorrow and the team will help you out.

Enjoy the rest of the convention and I look forward to meeting and talking with many of you over the coming days.

Thank you.