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A dependable critical minerals partner

Australia is a secure, reliable source of critical minerals and strategic materials. We have some of the world’s largest reserves of critical minerals, including lithium, cobalt and rare earths.

  • We are the world’s no.1 lithium producer.
  • We are a world leader in resources exploration, extraction, production and processing.
  • Our efficient resources sector delivers A$400—A$450 billion of exports per year across a range of mineral commodities.
  • Australian mining has a reputation for safety, high labour standards, First Nations engagement and environmental responsibility.

The Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy 2023-2030 outlines Australia’s vision, objectives and focus areas to grow our critical minerals sector and ensure we can seize the opportunities from the global net zero transformation. The strategy includes increasing support to finance mining and processing projects, and investing in international partnerships.

Our competitive advantage in critical minerals

Australia has an extensive pipeline of critical minerals projects. This is supported by our mining engineering, technology and services (METS) sector. Our global competitive advantage is built on:

  • a highly skilled resources workforce
  • over 6,000 METS companies
  • reliable and transparent regulation
  • security of tenure and dependable contract law
  • increasing access to renewable energy for mining and mineral processing
  • supportive governments, policies, incentives and programs.

Around 80% of Australia is ‘under-explored’, according to Geoscience Australia (Source, Geoscience Australia, Exploring the Future: Why are we doing it). The Australian Government will invest A$566.1 million over 10 years from 2024–25 to deliver data, maps and other tools for the resources industry. The initiative will point the way to new discoveries and lead to the full mapping of Australia over the next generation.

The long-term initiative, led by Geoscience Australia, underscores the Australian Government’s commitment to put the resources industry at the heart of its Future Made in Australia plan.

Secure, stable supply

Australia’s resources industry has built a reputation in Asia as a reliable supplier of minerals:

  • Established supply chains, including for critical minerals
  • Long-established trading partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Excellent environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices
  • A globally respected legal system
  • Ongoing investment in low-carbon extraction.

Australia is already the world’s 4th largest producer of rare earth minerals (Source: Office of the Chief Economist, Outlook for Selected Critical Minerals 2021).

How we can help

Incentives, grants and support

The Critical Minerals Strategy and Future Made in Australia plan include a range of incentives, finance facilities, grants and other support for the critical minerals sector.

  • The Australian Government’s A$4 billion Critical Minerals Facility supports projects that are aligned with the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy and are otherwise in Australia’s national interest.
  • Up to A$500 million of the A$5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is earmarked to help finance projects in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.
  • Up to A$1 billion of the A$15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) is earmarked for technologies that will help transform the economy, including in mining and exploration.
  • The Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) encourages investment in small minerals-exploration companies that carry out greenfield exploration.
  • Australian federal, state and territory government authorities are working together under the A$10 million Critical Minerals National Productivity Initiative to develop pre-feasibility studies of common-user infrastructure for the critical minerals sector.
  • The Major Projects Facilitation Agency (MPFA) assists developers with projects over A$20 million. MPFA provides information on Australian Government regulations and approvals; maps critical approval pathways and processes; and communicates with regulators, including raising issues with regulatory approval processes. 
  • The Critical Minerals Production Tax Incentive will provide a production incentive valued at 10 per cent of relevant processing and refining costs for Australia’s 31 critical minerals. This incentive will be applicable for up to 10 years per project, for production between 2027–28 and 2039–40 by projects that reach final investment decisions by 2030.

Snapshot

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Ranking

Top 5 for 21 commodities including cobalt, lithium, manganese, tungsten and vanadium.

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Investment

#1 option for mining. Australia scores top place in global rankings for mining investment.

A leading destination for critical minerals

Australia is creating opportunities for overseas investors and suppliers. The goal is to help diversify supply chains and secure a reliable supply of critical minerals.

As the global economy evolves more industries will require critical minerals to develop the next generation of technologies from smartphones and electric cars to wind turbines, solar panels and space shuttles.

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

Global companies can leverage australia's leadership in mining and benefit from our advanced technologies and skilled workforce to mine and process critical minerals efficiently, safely and responsibly.

With major greenfield and shovel-ready projects our world-class deposits are ready for off-take and investment.

As a stable, low-risk mining destination Australia offers many opportunities for you to diversify supply chains and secure a reliable supply of critical minerals.

Contact the Australian Trade and Investment Commission for more information.

Australia is set to become a major global supplier of critical minerals. We are already responsible for 50% of lithium extraction, with the world’s second largest resources. (Source: Office of the Chief Economist, Resources and Energy Quarterly December 2023) (PDF 8.2 MB)

  • The Critical Mineral Strategy 2023-2030 aims to help Australia become a globally significant producer of raw and processed critical minerals.
  • Expansion is backed by financial support. The Australian Government announced an additional A$2 billion in financing for the CMF in October 2023.
  • Australia is negotiating improved access for critical minerals with our trading partners.
  • The Government’s Critical Minerals Office (CMO) provides national policy and strategic advice, to help grow the industry.
  • Austrade provides business-to-business facilitation by directly linking Australian critical minerals producers with global offtake, debt or equity financing.

Australia’s lead science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific, Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO) leads research into critical minerals in Australia. It has developed a Critical Minerals Roadmap.