Industry Minister Karen Andrews has announced $11 million in funding for six critical minerals projects that will cement Australia’s position as a global industry powerhouse.
The projects, which will receive funding under round 8 of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-Ps), involve unlocking ground-breaking new ways to produce materials for advanced batteries, including batteries which could power trams.
In making the announcement, Minster Andrews said critical minerals presented Australia with ‘huge economic and environmental potential’.
“Developing Australia’s critical minerals industry is vital to Australia’s economic growth and these projects recognise the enormous opportunity to create new jobs,” Minister Andrews said.
“Value-adding to the critical minerals which we have in abundance in this country has obvious economic benefits, but is also essential as we look to scale-up the battery technologies which can help us transition to new fuel sources.”
VSPC is receiving a $1.6 million grant to develop advanced, fast-charging nano-engineered batteries to power a new generation of trams, without the need for overhead power lines.
Other critical minerals projects that received CRC-P funding involve the development of a process to produce battery grade nickel and cobalt sulphates; a project which aims to optimise processing of pyrite ore to produce battery grade cobalt and sulfur; and a project that will generate products such as cobalt salts and value added mixed-metal lithium ion battery precursors.
Minister Andrews said this investment builds on the work already being done by the Government to develop Australia’s critical minerals and rare earths sector.
“The work being funded via the CRC program is a valuable investment in finding the best way to develop and process our critical minerals,” he continued.
“The Liberal National Government is taking a 360-degree approach to the task of developing the sector – by finding new ways to provide financial support to projects, building relationships and diversifying potential international markets, investing in research and opening the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office last month.”