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Australia to lead critical minerals supply to 2030

3 June 2021

Australia is well placed to be a leading supplier of critical minerals and crucial rare earths elements to help meet growing global demand for minerals used in a variety of modern technologies.

A new report on the Outlook for Selected Critical Minerals Australia 2021 has forecast growing demand for critical minerals out to 2030, with opportunities for Australian production and investment in downstream value-adding processes.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the report, from the Office of the Chief Economist in the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, outlines the potential for further growth in Australia’s critical minerals sector.

“Australia is blessed with abundant resources and a highly-skilled workforce which is ready to transform these minerals and elements into the kinds of products the world needs,” Minister Pitt said.

The report examines the outlook for rare earth elements, as well as critical minerals cobalt, graphite and vanadium, which have conventional applications in steel making but are also crucial for battery and electric vehicle applications.

The report found the broad market outlook for these minerals is promising, with consumption growth for electric vehicles and the battery storage sector expected to outpace production growth in the coming years. Rare earth elements neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium are also expected to see consumption growth.

“Australia has long-established supply chains and is well placed to provide raw materials and potentially refined products to the world,” Minister Pitt said.

“Australia is already the world’s top producer of lithium, and the Government’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office is supporting the development of other resources, downstream processing, and helping to diversify global supply chains.

“Australia also has a stable investment environment and stable governance arrangements that make Australia an attractive location for critical minerals investment and development.”

The Outlook for Selected Critical Minerals Australia 2021 report is available here: https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/outlook-for-selected-critical-minerals-in-australia-2021-report

Media contact:

Minister Pitt's office: 02 6277 7180