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Supporting critical minerals projects

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The government provides funding, information and tools to help companies progress major critical minerals projects within Australia. This helps grow Australia’s emerging critical minerals sector by supporting innovation, attracting investment and exporting to new markets.

The Critical Minerals Facilitation Office is the central coordination point to grow Australia’s critical minerals sector. There are many other initiatives available to support resources projects more broadly, including critical minerals.

Navigating regulatory approvals

Projects exploring and mining minerals within Australia must meet certain requirements. Steps include obtaining licences, leases and environmental, health and safety approvals.

These resources help developers navigate regulatory approvals:

  • The Major Projects Help tool on Business.gov.au helps companies identify the Australian Government approvals and processes that may be relevant to their proposal.
  • Australia Minerals provides information on state and territory regulations that may be relevant to establishing and progressing critical minerals projects in Australia. 
  • The Major Projects Facilitation Agency helps projects with a capital expenditure of AU$20 million and over to navigate Commonwealth Government regulatory approvals. They can also provide information on the best onshore minerals regulation contacts in your state or territory.

Funding and support

The government supports critical minerals projects that benefit Australia’s national interest and deliver more opportunity for our businesses globally.

Your project may be eligible for funding or assistance.

  • The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) provides loans, which may be concessional, to help fund infrastructure in northern Australia. Your investment proposal must meet NAIF eligibility criteria to access assistance.
  • Export Finance Australia (EFA) is the government’s export credit agency. EFA provides businesses with financial solutions, including loans, guarantees and bonds. It works closely with banks and government agencies to:
    • support project proponents to realise export opportunities
    • help finance sustainable infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific
    • provide defence export finance, including through the Defence Export Facility
  • The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is the government’s key mechanism to stimulate investment in R&D. The tax incentive reduces company R&D costs by offering tax offsets for eligible R&D expenditure of more than AU$20,000. See the eligibility criteria on business.gov.au.
  • The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community to address industry identified problems facing Australia. The program offers support through 2 funding streams:
    • CRC Grants provide funding for medium to long term, industry-led collaborative research, for up to 10 years
    • CRC Projects (CRC-P) Grants provide funding for short term, industry-led collaborative research projects, for up to 3 years
  • Specific CRCs we are supporting to undertake R&D related to critical minerals include:
    • CRC ORE focuses on optimising resources extraction
    • MinEx CRC focuses on improving mineral discovery and drilling technologies
  • The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has a unique role to increase investment in Australia’s transition to lower emissions, including by investing in renewable energy such as energy storage, wind and solar power.

Connecting projects and investors

The government welcomes foreign investment in critical minerals.

  • The government is using its international networks to stay informed of market developments. Austrade links overseas investors with Australia’s critical minerals companies. See how Austrade can help international companies establish and build their business in Australia.
  • The Critical Minerals Facilitation Office works with projects and investors that have the potential to grow Australia’s critical minerals sector and provide downstream opportunities.
  • Australia Minerals provides information, expertise and support for mineral explorers and investors.

Finding the right tools

The Government provides expertise and tools to identify areas of resource potential.

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Last updated: 7 July 2020

Content ID: 66325