Jun 05, 2020

Resources hold up under COVID-19 pressure

Resources hold up under COVID-19 pressure Cobalt. Indian demand for Australian energy and defence minerals is part of new trade talks.

The latest improved trade figures and a new defence deal have highlighted the significance of Australia’s minerals sector.

Total resources and energy exports in the four weeks to April were up by 1.4 per cent on the same period last year to $92.1 billion, said Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt.

“Iron ore continues to be a key contributor with exports totalling $31.6 billion in the first four months of 2020, which is a 21.3 per cent increase on 2019,” Mr Pitt said.

“And over the same period, LNG exports were up by 1 per cent on the previous year, valued at $16.9 billion in the four months to April.

“There are obviously some challenges ahead as the world fights to contain the COVID-19 pandemic but I remain confident that once the crisis passes, resources and energy exports will play a key role in Australia’s economic recovery.”

Australia has taken a significant step towards establishing itself as a reliable supplier of the critical minerals needed to grow India’s manufacturing sector and its defence and space capabilities.

Meanwhile, Australia and India have announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on critical minerals.

India was a key potential market for Australia’s critical minerals, said Mr Pitt. 

India presented growing opportunities for Australia’s critical minerals, especially as the nation looks to build its manufacturing sector, defence and space capabilities,” he said.

“Australia has the potential to be one of the top suppliers of cobalt and zircon to India, being in the top three for global production of these minerals.

“Australia also has reserves to supply many other  critical minerals to India, including antimony,  lithium, rare earth elements and tantalum.

“Indian Government policies such as the Make in India program, and its goal of moving to full electric mobility by 2030, are expected to increase Indian demand for critical minerals.”

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