Critical minerals

Australia has an opportunity to be a global leader in the ethical and environmentally responsible supply of key critical minerals.

Minerals are vital for clean energy and advanced technologies like:

  • smartphones
  • computers
  • solar panels
  • batteries
  • electric vehicles.

Australia has an abundance of critical minerals. We are the world’s top producer of lithium, the second largest producer of zircon and rare earth elements, and we have extensive undiscovered potential.

Attracting investment

The government encourages foreign investment in Australia’s critical minerals. Major mining companies, junior explorers and financiers can benefit from Australia’s mature mining industry and critical mineral potential.

See current investment opportunities and the Australian Critical Minerals Prospectus on Austrade’s website.

Partnering on global supply chains

We’re working across government, and with international partners, to help address supply chain risks, advance research and promote ethical, sustainable practice.

This includes:

  • agreements with the US, India, Republic of Korea, and Japan
  • a founding member of the Energy Resource Governance Initiative
  • leading work to set technical standards and ensure good governance.

Prospective critical minerals projects

We help connect critical minerals projects to finance and funding bodies like Export Finance Australia, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. We also connect them with Australia's international partners to secure new investment and commitments to future products (strategic offtake agreements).

Facilitating critical minerals research

We facilitate research and development to:

  • improve access to Australia's critical mineral reserves
  • support new separation and downstream processing capacity in Australia
  • unlock tailings and recycling.

We administer a $4.5 million R&D program to boost critical minerals research by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and Geoscience Australia.