The Australian government will double the amount of money on offer to support critical minerals projects, aiming to attract American miners and processing companies to establish operations in Australia.
The A$2 billion ($1.3 billion) boost will increase the capacity of Australia’s Critical Minerals Facility to finance mining and processing projects for materials.
Part of the appeal for Australia of expanding its critical minerals footprint is to plug an anticipated fiscal shortfall amid waning demand for fossil fuel exports in a decarbonizing world. Australia’s lithium shipments were worth A$20 billion ($12 billion) in the 12 months through June, with government forecasts showing the sector’s earnings could rival that of thermal coal exports by 2028.
“We’re in a strong position, as the world’s largest supplier of lithium, for example, a significant supply of cobalt, vanadium, copper, nickel. The minerals that will power the globe in the 21st century are things that Australia has significant amounts of,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters in Washington on Monday.
A critical minerals task force aimed at increasing private investment in Australia’s rare earths industry and reducing global dependence on China has also been discussed with American authorities.
Albanese will visit China, Australia’s largest trade partner and biggest buyer of its iron ore, on November 4.
(With files from Bloomberg)
THIS ARTICLE WAS FIRST POSTED ON MINING.COM