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Australia’s path to superpower status runs through mining: Treasurer addresses WMC

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Treasurer for Australia Jim Chalmers has spoken this morning at the World Mining Congress about the integral role of mining in the Australian economy, as well as the path ahead for critical minerals.

“Australians know that the resources sector has been a critical contributor to our national prosperity,” Chalmers said.

“It’s the largest sector of our economy. It employs around 300,000 people, including 70,000 here in Queensland. It accounts for two‑thirds of our exports, bringing in around $460 billion a year.

“And it will underpin our efforts to make the next era even more prosperous than the last, as we look to take advantage of the big opportunity that is the shift to cleaner, cheaper energy.”

The Treasurer said that Australia’s goal to become a renewable energy superpower could not be achieved without mining.

“A strong and successful energy transformation will be built on a strong and successful resources sector,” he said.

“The scale of that task is formidable, but Australia stands ready to play a big part.”

Chalmers outlined the Government’s three-part approach to the energy transition.

“One, building new resilience in supply chains. Two, making the right critical mineral investments that work for our people and our international partners. And three, linking critical minerals up properly with a broader effort to drive growth through the energy transformation.

“A central part of our Critical Minerals Strategy that (Minister for Resources) Madeleine King talked you through on Monday is building international partnerships which will help us diversify across all parts of the supply chain.

One of the first policy decisions under the new Critical Minerals Strategy – unveiled … – will see the Government target $500 million of new investment into critical minerals projects.

Chalmers took the opportunity to elaborate on the investment.

“To properly link critical mineral projects into global supply chains and local upstream opportunities, we’re spending over $57 million to step up our international engagement.

“Allocating $23 million to ensure that Australian critical minerals have world leading environmental, social and governance credentials.

“And making more than $2.5 billion available for government investment in critical minerals projects.

“So, to finish, let me affirm our view that mining’s value has never been so certain, its place in our country never more secure.”

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