Australia-US strengthen critical minerals cooperation

Joint media release with Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Senator Simon Birmingham

Australia and the United States have strengthened bilateral cooperation to improve the resilience and diversity of global critical minerals supply chains.

Officials from Australia and the US agreed next steps to progress a joint action plan.

Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said the development built on the commitments made by US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Washington in September 2019.

“Meetings in Washington over the past week have made strong progress on an Australia-US joint action plan and will go a long way to helping to unlock Australia’s potential as a reliable and stable supplier of critical materials,” Minister Pitt said.

“Critical minerals are crucial to modern high technology industries and global demand is expected to remain strong with the increased use of mobile phones, laptops, renewable energy and other technology.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Australia is an attractive destination for investment and cooperation on developing critical mineral reserves and supply chains.

“Australia’s abundant reserves of critical minerals gives us the potential to be an international powerhouse for the supply of minerals such as antimony, manganese and rare earths, which are crucial to communications, renewable energy and defence industries,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Australia has a strong reputation as a reliable and stable supplier of resources to the world, and as our largest investor, we have a natural partnership of cooperation in critical minerals with the US.”

The US-Australia talks in Washington agreed to focus on key issues around ensuring a sufficient supply to meet projected demand, strengthening two-way trade and investment, encouraging research and development, and options to improve resource development.

The Australian delegation was led by the Head of the newly established Critical Minerals Facilitation Office and included senior officials from Geoscience Australia, Austrade, CSIRO, Export Finance Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Media contacts:Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180Minister Birmingham's office 02 6277 7420