Australia’s abundance of critical minerals is driving rapid advancements in computing, manufacturing, energy and transport, according to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).
The industry body revealed the nation’s significant contribution of materials ranging from rare earths to high performance metals, which it anticipates will continue to attract foreign governments and global investors.
Australia already leads the way in the booming lithium industry, owning 60 per cent of the concentrated market share, according to the MCA’s new publication ‘Critical Minerals: Investment opportunities in Australia.’
This is due to the nation holding 2.8 million tonnes of lithium resources, representing the third highest global ranking for the commodity.
MCA also highlights the growing presence of Australia in the rare earths market, which is set to become vital as the United States pursues alternative sources of supply to China’s 71 per cent concentrated market share.
Holding 3.27 million tonnes of rare earth elements, Australia ranks sixth globally, however, it currently owns a 12 per cent market share of the minerals, which is the second most behind the near monopoly China owns.
Australia also ranks in the top five countries for other critical minerals holdings, including antimony, cobalt, manganese, niobium, tungsten and vanadium, which highlights the vast potential of the nation’s landscape, according to MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable.
“With critical minerals essential to global economic development but geographically concentrated, Australia is well placed to extract and produce these high performance minerals,” Constable said.
“Australia has pioneered new advances in extractive technologies, processing ores into metals and is ideally placed to lead the growth, diversity and new applications of critical minerals globally.”
Constable went on to emphasise the reasons why Australia remains an enticing destination to invest given its stable geopolitical scene, investment, highly skilled workforce and established infrastructure.
“Our world-leading minerals sector supports the industries and products of the future with a strong and proven commitment to sustainability, community engagement, rehabilitation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Constable said.
“Critical minerals are already a multi-billion dollar industry in Australia, with many new projects at advanced stages of development that will soon be ready to support the world’s growing needs.”