Nyrstar, a global producer of critical minerals and metals, has expressed satisfaction today with the release of a revised Australian Critical Minerals List, which, for the first time, includes a list of Strategic Minerals featuring zinc— the fourth most widely used metal globally.
The company commended the Australian Government for its thorough consultation process during the revision of the Critical Minerals List and ongoing development of critical minerals policy.
In a news release, Nyrstar emphasised the need for further collaboration between the Australian Government and industry to outline how the new lists will inform government policy and investments.
These efforts are crucial to securing the minerals and metals essential for technologies vital to Australia’s economic future and its international partnerships.
Nyrstar’s Global Co-CEO Dale Webb expressed satisfaction with Australia’s acknowledgment of the strategic role played by zinc in key technologies and its significance in unlocking other critical minerals, such as germanium, gallium, and indium.
“This recognition is an important first step that needs to be similarly supported by increased awareness of the real and growing risk to supply disruption for zinc and urgent action to address it,” Webb noted.
According to a recent white paper published by Nyrstar, industry estimates predict an annual demand growth for zinc of 2.5 million to 3 million tonnes between 2020 and 2030, representing approximately 20 per cent of the current global supply.
This creates a supply gap equivalent to 150 per cent of Australia’s current total zinc mining output.
Webb continued, “By recognising zinc’s strategic importance and risks to its supply chain, Australia will also be better positioned to improve bilateral cooperation with its international partners on projects that address the challenges facing the looming supply gap and increasing supply chain concentration facing both zinc and the critical minerals it unlocks.”
He highlighted the rapid disruption caused by the energy transition in traditional markets and underscored Nyrstar’s commitment to working with the Australian Government.
The goal is to identify unique opportunities that allow Australia to play a more significant role in overcoming market failures in critical minerals, benefiting both the nation and its trading partners.
For further insights, interested parties can read Nyrstar’s submission to the Government on the Critical Minerals List issues paper here.