Australia, US strengthen bilateral cooperation on critical minerals

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Officials from Australia and the United States have agreed to launch a joint action plan aimed at improving the resilience and diversity of global critical minerals supply chains.

The joint action plan focuses on key issues around ensuring a sufficient supply to meet projected demand, strengthening two-way trade and investment, encouraging research and development, and options to improve resource development.

Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said the action plan paves the way for Australia to unlock its potential as a reliable and stable supplier of critical materials, building on the commitments made by US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Washington in September 2019.

“Meetings in Washington over the past week have made strong progress on an Australia-US joint action plan,” Minister Pitt said.

“Critical minerals are crucial to modern high technology industries and global demand is expected to remain strong with the increased use of mobile phones, laptops, renewable energy and other technology.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Australia was ‘an attractive destination for investment and cooperation’ on developing critical mineral reserves and supply chains.

“Australia’s abundant reserves of critical minerals gives us the potential to be an international powerhouse for the supply of minerals such as antimony, manganese and rare earths, which are crucial to communications, renewable energy and defence industries,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Australia has a strong reputation as a reliable and stable supplier of resources to the world, and as our largest investor, we have a natural partnership of cooperation in critical minerals with the US.”

The Australian delegation was led by the Head of the newly established Critical Minerals Facilitation Office and included senior officials from Geoscience Australia, Austrade, CSIRO, Export Finance Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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