The Australian Government has announced a range of initiatives to support and further grow Australia’s critical minerals sector.
Critical minerals are vital for the development of clean energy technology, such as wind turbines and electric vehicles.
The initiatives include:
- Australia’s National Critical Minerals Strategy
- the Critical Minerals Development Program
- the Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub in collaboration with the CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
These initiatives form part of Australia’s commitment to achieve net zero by 2050.
Critical Minerals Development Program
The government’s Critical Minerals Development Program will provide $50 million over 3 years for competitive grants to support early and mid-stage critical minerals projects. This builds on the $50 million committed to 6 key projects across Australia last month.
Critical minerals are used in many renewable and low emissions technologies, as well as electronics and defence technologies. The Critical Minerals Development Program will help grow our local industry and support Australia’s transition to net zero emissions.
Businesses and state or territory governments can apply for grants of up to $50 million. Applicants need to contribute at least 50% of the project cost themselves.
Grants can be used for activities including:
- feasibility studies
- engineering design work
- building pilot or demonstration facility.
New critical minerals R&D Hub
The Australian Government is repurposing $50.5 million from previous commitments to develop the Australian Critical Minerals Research and Development (R&D Hub).
The R&D Hub will build on Australia’s world-leading research capabilities, by drawing together critical minerals expertise in CSIRO, ANSTO and Geoscience Australia. This will enable it to prioritise and advance projects of strategic significance.
By coordinating and aligning critical minerals research efforts, the R&D Hub will help to:
- build Australian intellectual property in critical minerals processing
- progress international R&D collaboration and science diplomacy
- connect critical minerals projects to technical and research expertise.
A major focus will be the minerals needed for clean energy to help Australia achieve net zero emissions. This will help secure more value from our resources and support a thriving domestic manufacturing sector.