Australia’s critical minerals edge

Minister for Resources Madeleine King addressed the 10th International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) yesterday with a strong message on the future of Australia’s critical minerals.

“I see it being nothing short of a national mission to ensure our critical minerals are mined to meet domestic and international demand, as well as being processed here in Australia,” King said.

“The world’s path to reaching net-zero runs through the resources sector. The resources sector will provide for our future energy security, and it’s clear that reaching net-zero will require more mining, not less.”

King said 30 of the top 100 METS (mining equipment, technology and services) companies in the world are based in Australia, which is at the forefront of the sector’s most important developments, including remote operating vehicles, horizontal drilling, robotics and automation, airborne exploration technologies and mineral flotation.

“The entire world is seeking access to our critical minerals and rare earths, but at the same time, they are also seeking alternatives closer to home. Australia needs to embrace this opportunity, promoting our reputation as a reliable, stable, and ethical supplier of resources,” she said.

King went on to emphasise Australia is the world’s largest leading producer of unprocessed lithium and produced most of the world’s hard rock lithium, with exports forecast to reach $16 billion this year.

“Australia’s resources industry is a powerhouse of the economy. Mining underpins our standard of living, providing 75 per cent of Australian exports and almost 15 per cent of GDP,” King said.

“Australia’s resources export earnings reaped a record $460 billion in the recent financial year. Taxes from our resources industry build roads and hospitals. Iron ore, gas and coal pay for our schools and defence forces.”

Kicking off on October 31, IMARC wraps up today after bringing together over 8500 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators, and educators from more than 120 countries for three days of learning, deal-making and networking.

This article originally appeared in Australian Mining.

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