Hot Topics

Federal government backs $40 million international critical minerals partnerships

Go to Colin Hay author's page
By Colin Hay - 
Federal initiative Australia leader critical minerals grants program net zero

The Australian government has introduced a new grants program to help secure international critical minerals supply.

As part of a growing focus on Australia’s position as a leading global critical minerals developer, federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King has opened applications for a $40 million international partnership program to build end-to-end critical minerals supply chains.

The minimum grant amount will be $2m and the maximum $20m.

Minister King said the four-year grant program would strengthen Australia’s international engagement on critical minerals and support cooperation with global partners such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea and the European Union and its member states.

“Secure supply chains for our critical minerals are essential if we want to build the wind farms, solar panels and batteries we need to reach net zero,” Ms King said.

“These supply chains will also be essential in working with our allies and friends in developing technology needed by [the] defence industry.”

“These grants support our critical minerals strategy, which will build Australia’s sovereign capability in critical minerals processing, diversify global supply chains and help Australia become a clean energy superpower.”

Investment opportunities

A recently released Australian critical minerals prospectus highlighted the nation’s capability to meet rising global demand in critical minerals while building supply chain security.

Independent research has found that – with its secure economy backed by strong exports, services and a stable regulatory environment – Australia continues to be the most attractive region globally for mining investment.

Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell said the Australian government is actively supporting investment in critical minerals projects, including through the recently expanded $4b critical minerals facility.

“Australia is on the cusp of a golden age in critical minerals development,” the minister said.

“We are actively engaging with international trade and investment partners to diversify our critical minerals supply chains and create new opportunities.”

“More international investment in critical minerals means more jobs, including value-adding jobs for Australian workers on these projects.”

Australia key to net zero

In releasing the prospectus, minister King again declared that the road to net zero runs through Australia’s resources sector.

“Australia’s critical minerals are key to the world’s energy transformation.”

“But we need to attract investment to get these minerals out of the ground, to process them here, to build the batteries, wind turbines and solar panels required [to] make the switch to a lower carbon economy.”

“This prospectus will help attract the investment we need to build new industries, create jobs and reduce global emissions.”

Critical minerals are crucial to low-emissions technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines and are also important for modern defence and medical technologies.