Advancing international partnerships on critical minerals

An update on international engagements from the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, including conferences and partnerships with the US and UK.
Photo of the Minister speaking to camera for his presentation at the virtual event.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon Keith Pitt MP speaks at the virtual Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea Energy, Resources and Sustainability Roundtable.

The Critical Minerals Facilitation Office has overcome travel restrictions to remain connected with international counterparts via video and teleconferencing.

Here’s a wrap-up of recent international engagement on critical minerals.

Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations

Critical minerals featured at this week’s 30th Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN). The meeting set a path for the Australia-US Alliance to support regional recovery from COVID-19 and build a secure, prosperous future for the Indo-Pacific. The Secretaries and Ministers welcomed continued development of a US-Australia Critical Minerals Plan of Action to support new investment in the sector and work with like-minded partners to develop international standards on critical minerals.

Read the Joint Statement Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2020

Second meeting of the US-Australia Joint Working Group

Ahead of AUSMIN, the US-Australia Joint Working Group met earlier this month to progress the US-Australia Critical Minerals Plan of Action. The Joint Working Group meeting included Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Discussions centred on the agreed key action areas, with a particular focus on trade and investment.

The Plan of Action prioritises collaborative action between Australia and the US. It also helps unlock Australia’s potential as a reliable and stable supplier of critical materials.

Australia-India Council presentation

Following the recent signing of the critical minerals Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India, Jessica Robinson presented to a Board Meeting of the Australia-India Council. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss shared goals and resources which can deliver outcomes under the MoU.

Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea Energy, Resources and Sustainability Roundtable

The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea hosted an Energy, Resources and Sustainability Roundtable on 2 July 2020.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, spoke with Korean industry leaders at the virtual event. They discussed opportunities for cooperation between Australia and Korea to improve the functioning of global critical minerals supply chains.

Korea has significant manufacturing capability for technologies of the future, including permanent magnets and batteries. Major Korean companies are already partnering with Australian critical minerals suppliers and project developers. Representatives from some of these partnerships attended the event.

Minister Pitt highlighted that Australia remains an investment-friendly destination with an enabling environment for business to thrive.

Energy Resource Governance Initiative

The Office continued Australia’s participation in the Energy Resources Governance Initiative (ERGI) at a virtual meeting of Founding Partners of the ERGI. Led by Frank Fannon (US) and including Peru, Botswana and Canada, the initiative promotes sound mining sector governance and resilient energy mineral supply chains.

See a video outlining the initiative from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Energy Resources.

Critical Raw Materials Alliance virtual annual conference

Jessica Robinson participated in the government expert panel of the conference. The panel discussed how to achieve a level playing field for the European value chain and security of critical raw materials supply. Learn more about the work of the Critical Raw Materials Alliance.

First round of negotiations for the UK Free Trade Agreement

Our Office participated in the first round of negotiations on the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This was an opportunity for both countries to discuss critical minerals as a sector and where each could potentially benefit from increased cooperation. We’ll continue to explore this opportunity with UK counterparts as negotiations continue.

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