Critical minerals

Australia has an abundance of critical minerals. We have an opportunity to become a global leader as an ethical and environmentally-responsible supplier.

Critical minerals are vital for clean energy and advanced technologies like smartphones, computers, solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles.

Australia supplies many countries with high quality, ethically sourced minerals using environmentally sustainable practices. We: 

  • have the world’s largest resources of rutile (titanium), zircon (zirconium) and tantalum
  • rank in the top 5 globally for antimony, cobalt, lithium, manganese ore, niobium, tungsten and vanadium rank
  • are the world’s top producer of lithium and rutile
  • are the world’s second largest producer of zircon and rare earth elements.

Australia has potential for more undiscovered minerals. Well-established mining regions cover just 20% of Australia with the remaining 80% largely under-explored. 

Advice and guidance to secure funding

The Australian Government supports critical minerals projects that:

  • support global clean energy supply chains and decarbonisation
  • create high-paying jobs
  • contribute to a strong future for our resources sector
  • upgrade domestic processing and manufacturing capability.

From our department

Currently closed

Critical Minerals Development Program (CMDP)

Critical Minerals Development Program grants support early and mid-stage critical minerals projects. The current round will provide up to $50 million over 3 years for competitive grants to support early and mid-stage critical minerals projects.

The Critical Minerals Development Program will:  

  • help grow Australia’s Critical Minerals industry
  • support Australia’s transition to net zero emissions
  • support economic development and jobs in regional communities.

Businesses and state or territory governments can apply for a co-funded grant of up to $30 million.

Grants can be used for feasibility studies, engineering design work, and building pilot or demonstration facilities amongst other activities.

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Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grants

Our CRC Grants support medium to long-term collaborative research for up to 10 years.

We help you partner with the research sector to solve industry-identified problems. 

The CRC Program supports the development of technologies, products and services that help reduce Australian industry problems. It aims to increase their:

  • competitiveness
  • productivity
  • sustainability.


National Reconstruction Fund

The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) will provide finance for projects that diversify and transform Australia’s industry and economy. It will finance projects that align with the government's 7 priority areas to leverage Australia’s natural and competitive strengths.

Priority funding areas 

The NRF will make targeted investments in the following priority areas: 

  1. value-add in resources
  2. value-add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries 
  3. transport
  4. medical science
  5. renewables and low emission technologies
  6. defence capability 
  7. enabling capabilities. 

Major Projects Facilitation Agency

The Major Projects Facilitation Agency (MPFA) provides information and help with regulatory approvals for major projects in Australia. The MPFA is the Australian Government entry point for developers of projects over $20 million.

Research and Development Tax Incentive

The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is the government’s key mechanism to stimulate industry investment in R&D in Australia.

It is jointly administered by Industry Innovation and Science Australia (IISA) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 

From other government agencies

Export Finance Australia (EFA)

EFA support Australian businesses and projects with access to flexible finance.

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)

NAIF is a development financier for infrastructure projects in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)

The CEFC has a unique role to increase investment in Australia’s transition to lower emissions.

Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI)

The JMEI encourages investment in small minerals exploration companies that carry out greenfields mineral exploration in Australia.

Investing in Australia’s critical minerals

Major mining companies, junior explorers and financiers can benefit from Australia’s:

  • mature mining industry and deep expertise in resource extraction and processing
  • supportive governments, policies, incentives and programs for the resources sector
  • pre-competitive geoscience information to identify areas of resource potential
  • robust regulatory, construction, environmental and safety standards
  • stable business location with close ties to the growing markets of Asia.

Learn about Australia's critical minerals potential


Find the 2022 prospectus showcasing 55 investment-ready projects across Australia as well as capability specific information.

Geoscience Australia

Find critical minerals data, tools, and guidance.

Access Australian Government expertise and advice


Austrade is the government’s lead trade and investment facilitation agency. It supports the critical minerals sector by developing commercial partnerships to connect Australia with trade partners and target markets.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

The ANSTO Minerals team provides process development services, technical reviews and consulting services to clients in the mining and mineral processing industries.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

CSIRO is one of the largest minerals research groups in the world. It partners with industry, government and the research sector to deliver breakthrough innovation across the minerals value chain.

Australia Minerals

Australia Minerals is a collaboration of Australia's federal and state geoscience agencies that provides information and expertise to support mineral explorers realise investment opportunities.

Foreign Investment Review Board

The Foreign Investment Review Board provides information on foreign investment approval requirements for investing in Australia.

Geoscience Australia

Geoscience Australia maximises benefits from Australia’s wealth of mineral resources. It provides geoscience data, expertise and analysis, and stimulates mineral exploration and investment.