Australia has global edge in critical minerals race: minister

Australian Minister for Resources the Hon. Madeleine King spoke at the recent IMARC event in Sydney, spotlighting that she feels Australia can lead the world as it transitions to a clean energy future by producing the critical minerals required, whilst not sacrificing its existing competitive advantage as a traditional mining powerhouse.

Addressing the 10th International Mining and Resources Conference, Minister King said mining underpins Australia’s prosperity and the abundance of critical minerals and rare earth deposits positioned it for global leadership in producing the materials to power the clean energy transition.

“Australia’s resources industry is a powerhouse of the economy. Mining underpins our standard of living, providing 75% of Australian exports and almost 15% of GDP. Australia’s resources export earnings reaped a record $460 billion in the recent financial year. Taxes from our resources industry build roads and hospitals. Iron ore, gas and coal pay for our schools and defence forces,” she added.

King notes that said 30 of the top 100 METS companies in the world are based in Australia, the forefront of the sector’s most important developments including remote operating vehicles, horizontal drilling, robotics and automation, airborne exploration technologies and mineral flotation.

Australia is also the world’s largest leading producer of unprocessed lithium and produces most of the world’s hard rock lithium; exports in 2023 are projected to reach A$16 billion.

It is the world’s third largest cobalt exporter and the world’s fourth largest exporter of rare earths, and ranked seventh in the world for economic resources of natural graphite.

“The world’s path to reaching Net Zero runs through the resources sector. The resources sector will provide for our future energy security, and it’s clear that reaching Net Zero will require more mining, not less,” King pointed out.

“I see it being nothing short of a national mission to ensure our critical minerals are mined to meet domestic and international demand, as well as being processed here in Australia. The entire world is seeking access to our critical minerals and rare earths, but at the same time, they are also seeking alternatives closer to home. Australia needs to embrace this opportunity, promoting our reputation as a reliable, stable and ethical supplier of resources.”


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