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Albanese champions lithium and critical minerals to power Australia’s renewable energy ambitions

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By Colin Hay - 
Prime minister Australia Anthony Albanese critical minerals support

Australia’s prime minister Anthony Albanese has highlighted the government’s commitment to supporting the lithium and critical minerals sectors.

In an “opinion” piece written for a national audience, the PM revealed why the federal government had recently elected to invest millions into a Western Australian lithium project and a Northern Territory rare earths development.

The government recently provided the Kathleen Valley lithium project in WA with a $230 million investment.

The PM said this will help lock in the final construction stages of the project and create nearly 1000 jobs, from engineering to electricians to heavy machinery operators and geologists.

The government’s vision

Mr Albanese said the government’s vision is for a future made in Australia.

“Realising this vision requires us to seize the unique opportunities and natural advantages that can see Australia lead the world,” he said.

“This is why, after Cabinet met in Darwin last Wednesday, we committed $840m to help deliver Australia’s first combined rare earths mine and refinery in the NT.”

He said the investment will create more than 300 jobs in industries of the future and will also play a vital role in securing Australia’s place as a renewable energy superpower.

“Rare earth elements are becoming more and more common in our everyday lives.”

“If you’re reading this article on a smartphone or a tablet, they’re in the screen. The same goes for your smart TV.”

Australia a major force

The PM noted that Australia is a major force in critical minerals developments.

“Extracting and exporting resources has always been a great strength of the Australian economy.”

“In this new era of critical minerals, we must look to add new value and create new jobs by boosting our processing and manufacturing capabilities. Making this opportunity count, by making more things here in Australia.”

“By tapping into some of the largest critical minerals deposits on earth, we open the door to creating the crucial technologies needed to underpin not only the energy sector, but also national security and medicine,” he noted.

Potential renewables superpower

The PM said that Australia has the potential to be a renewable energy superpower, but for it to compete and win on the world stage the nation will need to build stronger partnerships with major international markets.

“We have engaged with the United States Inflation Reduction Act and have doubled our investment in the Critical Minerals Facility.”

“We are already working closely with Germany on hydrogen production.

“Germany has recognised that Australia has some of the best natural conditions in the world to produce green hydrogen and they have the technology to help us do it.”

“The world wants the resources which Australia has in abundance, but we all know that our nation has so much more to offer: from world-leading science and research to a manufacturing workforce with world-class skills.”