Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan has announced the opening of a new Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, tasked with growing Australia’s critical minerals sector and positioning Australia globally as a secure and reliable supplier of critical minerals.
The Critical Minerals Facilitation Office will be led by Jessica Robinson – a former senior official in Treasury and Prime Minister and Cabinet – who will hold a series of stakeholder roundtable meetings around the country early in the year to promote and explain the role of the Office and inform priority actions.
It will work with all levels of government, industry and the science and research sector to develop Australia’s critical mineral resources, maximise opportunities and develop downstream industries.
Minister Canavan said Australia’s abundant resources of critical minerals, such as antimony, manganese, ilmenite and rutile, were a crucial component of modern high-technology and clean-energy industries.
“We have the potential to become an international powerhouse in the supply of critical minerals with increasing demand from rising use of electric cars, renewable energy and smart phones,” the Minister said.
“Australia has abundant reserves of critical minerals and rare earths and the Government is committed to developing world-leading projects which improve diversity of supply in the global markets.”
Mr Canavan announced the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office in November, ahead of crucial talks in the United States where Australia and the US formalised a partnership on developing critical minerals supply chains.
He said a detailed plan to support joint action will be further developed when senior officials meet in Washington in late February and will complement a range of actions Australia is pursuing with key international partners, including Japan, India and Europe.
“Critical minerals projects will be eligible to apply for financial support through Export Finance Australia, the Defence Export Facility and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF),” the Minister continued.
“The Office will work closely with these funding facilities and the Clean Energy Financing Cooperation to help projects access finance.”