Australian resources trusted by Korean investors

Australia’s critical minerals sector is viewed as one of the safest places to do business due to its high-grade policies and regulations, according to Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ).

TIQ commissioner for Korea Ryan Freer said his partners in Korea were increasingly looking to diversify their battery metal supply chains, as usual suppliers such as China and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) became unstable.

He said Australia has become one of Korea’s first ports of call.

“When it comes to mineral resources investments, Korean investors have strong trust in Australia’s regulatory standards and Australian businesses’ environmental, social and corporate governance structures are highly regarded,” Freer said.

Korea has three of the world’s largest battery manufacturers which combine for a market share of 34.7 per cent.

Australia, meanwhile, mined 47 per cent of the world’s lithium in 2017 and has the world’s largest nickel resource.

Freer said the missing piece to unlock the value of critical minerals is to find the right partners overseas.

“I feel fostering the right relationships around shared interests is critical. Only then can miners and processors build awareness, create confidence, and deliver mutual benefit,” Freer said.

“Queensland’s well-established resource sector has led to the development of world-class infrastructure to support export markets.

“Our strategic location has also led to the formation of strong, long-term strategic relationships between companies from Asia and Queensland-based resource companies.”

Korea used 48,000 tonnes of lithium and 67,000 tonnes of nickel in 2020, with the Asian powerhouse expected to top 100,000 tonnes in both commodities by 2030.


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