The technologically advanced world we live in is dependent upon a variety of minerals and metals. These minerals, which we call critical minerals, are in our mobile phones, our computers and are essential for renewable energy technologies. At the moment, many of the world’s critical minerals come from just a few countries.
The increasing global demand for a secure supply of these minerals presents an economic opportunity for Australia. This is because Australia has world leading-deposits of many critical minerals, including rare earths. But we are yet to develop the industry at a large-scale.
The Australian Government is eager to capture our critical minerals opportunity. In March 2019, Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy and Investment Prospectus was released. Then, in November 2019, the Government announced a range of new measures and a coordinated approach to tackling the strategic risks posed by concentrated supply chains, particularly for Rare Earths, including the establishment of the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office to lead this body of work.
Now, in January of 2020, I am pleased to confirm that the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office was established on 2 January 2020.
The Office is here to position Australia globally as a secure and reliable supplier of critical minerals. We are the Australian Government’s central coordination point for industry, investors and academia. You can think of us as the primary source of information on Australian critical minerals policy and projects.
As Head of the Office, my mission is to work with the sector to develop a clear, shared vision for Australia’s critical minerals sector. I want to join all the different parts of the sector together, from research and development in universities, to pilot and full-scale projects on the ground, to promoting business opportunities in supply chains both here in Australia and overseas. I see working collaboratively as essential to growing the critical minerals sector efficiently and quickly.
I will work closely with my colleagues in federal and state agencies to drive both the actions that need to occur at home in Australia, as well as overseas to improve the functioning of global critical mineral markets and promote Australia as a world leader in the supply of critical minerals.
My team and I look forward to working with industry, investors and other stakeholders this year to help realise Australia’s full critical minerals potential.