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Critical minerals

Reliable, responsible and ready for the future.

Australia is a land of plenty, known globally as a resources powerhouse.

Critical minerals are found in commercial quantities in just a handful of countries – and Australia has some of the world’s best endowments.

From lithium-ion batteries, smartphones, electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines and space shuttles, the world needs Australia’s critical minerals to support a net zero clean energy transition.

Our strong economy and robust environmental, social and governance frameworks help create secure and stable supplies. It makes Australia an attractive destination for critical minerals investment.

Austrade Critical Minerals Prospectus 2022

Our 2022 critical minerals prospectus highlights more than 55 investment-ready opportunities in Australia.

 

#1
Most attractive globally for mining investment

Western Australia is the most attractive region.

Demand for critical minerals is set to rise two to fourfold by 2030

Source: International Energy Agency. World Energy Outlook 2022

Mining a wealth of opportunities

Australia is a world-leading exporter of high-quality, ethically sourced minerals extracted using environmentally sustainable practices.

International mining companies, junior explorers and financiers looking to do business here will find:

  • a mature mining industry with deep expertise in resource extraction and processing
  • supportive governments, policies, incentives and programs for the resources sector
  • world-leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices
  • a transparent regulatory environment
  • a skilled workforce – Australia has four of the world’s top six mining engineering universities
  • pre-competitive geoscience information to identify areas of resource potential
  •  a stable business location with preferential access to the dynamic markets of the Asia- Pacific.

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Australia: A leading destination for critical minerals

Australia can supply the world with the critical minerals to power new technologies.

  • Australia is the:

    • world’s number 1 producer of lithium (49%) and rutile (titanium) (26%)
    • 2nd largest producer of zircon (zirconium) (21%)
    • top 5 producer of cobalt, manganese, antimony and rare earth minerals
  • Australia has the world’s largest recoverable resources of:
    • tantalum | zircon (zirconium) | rutile (titanium) | nickel
  • Australia’s reserves rank in the top five globally for:
    • lithium | cobalt | tungsten | vanadium | niobium | antimony | manganese

Source: Geoscience Australia World Rankings 2021

According to Geoscience Australia, 80% of the country is considered “under-explored”. There are abundant opportunities for new mineral discoveries in Australia.

 

Incentives, grants and support

Australia offers wide-ranging support for businesses looking to invest and add value to our resources and energy sector.

  • The A$2 billion Critical Minerals Facility, administered by Export Finance Australia, offers financing to get early-stage critical minerals projects off the ground.
  • A new three-year $50m Critical Minerals Development Program will offer competitive grants to early and mid-stage projects.
  • The new A$1 billion Value Adding in Resources Fund aims to ensure a greater share of the raw materials we extract are processed in Australia. It will offer a combination of loans, equity, co-investment and guarantees for businesses in resources value-adding and mining science.  It forms part of the Australian Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.
  • The Research and Development Tax Incentive encourages businesses to invest more in R&D through tax offsets.

 

A plan for growth

The 2022 Critical Minerals Strategy outlines Australia’s plan to grow the critical minerals sector, expand downstream processing and help meet future global demand. The Australian Government is listening to industry and other stakeholders as it develops a refreshed 2023 strategy.

 

How Austrade helps 

Austrade supports the critical minerals sector by facilitating commercial partnerships with our trade partners and target markets.

Austrade understands the specific needs of global critical mineral end-users and their tiered suppliers. Through its Australian and global network, Austrade works actively to support companies looking for offtake and investment in Australia-based critical minerals projects and downstream processing and value-chain creation. 

Factsheet

Critical Minerals Factsheet

Australia’s critical minerals ecosystems

Success stories

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