Jan 18, 2020

Critical minerals push continues with new office

Critical minerals push continues with new office

Australia’s push to maximise opportunities in critical mineral exports and processing continues with the opening of an office dedicated to the cause.

Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said today the new Critical Minerals Facilitation Office was open for business and ready to support the development and growth of the sector.

“We have the potential to become an international powerhouse in the supply of critical minerals, with increasing demand from rising use of electric cars, renewable energy and smart phones,” Senator Canavan said.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan.

“Australia has abundant reserves of critical minerals and rare earths and the government is committed to developing world-leading projects which improve diversity of supply in the global markets.”

The office will work with all levels of government, industry and the science and research sector to develop Australia’s critical mineral resources, maximise opportunities and develop downstream industries. 

It will be led by Jessica Robinson, a former senior official in Treasury and Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Jessica Robinson.

Ms Robinson will hold a series of stakeholder roundtable meetings around the country early in the year to promote and explain the role of the office and inform priority actions.

More talks planned in Washington

Senator Canavan announced plans for the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office in November, ahead of talks where Australia and the US formalised a partnership on developing critical minerals supply chains. 

He said a detailed plan to support joint action would be further developed when senior officials met in Washington in late February.

This would complement a range of actions Australia was pursuing with key international partners, including Japan, India and Europe, Senator Canavan said.

Australia is one of the top five producers of critical minerals such as antimony, manganese, ilmenite and rutile and is the second largest  producer of rare earths, with 13 per cent of global production.

Information about the Critical Minerals Facilitation office is available at www.industry.gov.au/about-us/critical-minerals-facilitation-office or by emailing criticalminerals@industry.gov.au.

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