June 30, 2023: Australia unveiled a new critical minerals strategy on June 20, including a pledge to pump A$500 million ($332 million) of fresh investment into sectors including battery materials supply.
Resources and Northern Australia minister Madeleine King said the country aimed to become a “globally significant producer of raw and processed critical minerals”.
Independent modelling has found increasing exports of critical minerals and energy-transition minerals could create more than 115,000 new jobs and add A$71.2 billion to GDP by 2040, King said.
But jobs could more than double that figure and GDP increase to A$133.5 billion by 2040 if Australia builds downstream refining and processing capability and secures a greater share of trade and investment.
Australia is the world’s largest producer of lithium — accounting for some 47% of world supply in 2020.
King said it is the third largest producer of cobalt and fourth largest producer of rare earths and produces significant amounts of metals such as aluminium, nickel and copper.
The new strategy will also pave the way for an update to the country’s critical minerals list.