International engagement to support Australia’s critical minerals objectives
Existing bilateral collaborations include, but are not limited to:
- Australia-United States Climate, Critical Minerals And Clean Energy Transformation Statement of Intent and the underlying Australia-US Climate, Critical Minerals, and the Clean Energy Transformation Compact
- Australia–US Joint Net Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership
- The Australia-US Strategic Commercial Dialogue
- The Australia-US Energy Security Dialogue
- Australia–UK Joint Working Group on Critical Minerals
- India–Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership
- Australia–Republic of Korea Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Critical Mineral Supply Chains and corresponding Critical Minerals Working Group
- Australia–Japan Critical Minerals Partnership and corresponding Critical Minerals Working Group
- Australia–France Critical Minerals Dialogue
- Australia–Germany Working Group on Raw Materials
Australia is also continuing to work closely with the EU to establish a bilateral Strategic Critical Minerals Partnership.
Australia is also active in important multilateral forums and initiatives, including but not limited to:
- serving as the inaugural chair of the IEA Critical Minerals Working Party (since 2022) to improve the IEA’s work on critical minerals, including embedding strong ESG considerations in data collection and reporting and supply security mechanisms
- chairing the Conference on Critical Materials and Minerals in 2023 to exchange information on policies governing critical materials, technical R&D collaboration and related efforts
- being a founding member of the Minerals Security Partnership, which bolsters critical mineral supply chains essential to the energy transition by identifying strategic projects, attracting private sector finance and upholding strong ESG credentials
- being a founding member of the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance, which promotes sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible mining practices for the critical minerals sector
- chairing the Strategic Advisory Group in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop and disseminate technical standards for critical minerals and materials, including ESG considerations.
- working with the OECD on responsible critical mineral supply chains and due diligence.
- supporting the Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI) to provide tools and technical assistance that help countries with developing mineral resources establish best practice governance in mining.
- scientific partnerships such as the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative between Geoscience Australia, the US Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada.
- supporting the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which includes work to establish criteria for critical sectors and goods through the Supply Chains pillar.
- The Quad considers critical minerals through its work on developing and diversifying clean energy supply chains.
Austrade facilitates investment
Austrade plays a vital role in promoting investment opportunities and facilitating commercial partnerships with trade partners in target markets. Austrade uses its global network to support companies looking for offtake and investment in Australian critical minerals projects, downstream processing and value chain creation.
Austrade is working directly with 73 Australian project proponents and providing assistance to three international investors (May 2023). On the offtake and investment side, Austrade is engaged with global investors (EV manufacturers, OEMs and direct investors) across all target markets seeking connections to Australian project proponents. Austrade has so far assisted with 13 offtake agreements, 8 joint offtake and equity agreements, 1 direct investment, 2 local content related ECA debt commitments, and 3 EPC deals.
Austrade’s business missions (eight to date) connect Australian critical minerals companies with end-users, investors, traders and midstream processors producing battery, magnet and high-performance alloys in the automotive, battery, offshore wind, technology metals and defence sectors.
Austrade publishes the Australian Critical Minerals Prospectus with the help of Australia’s geoscience agencies. The prospectus supports the significant efforts already underway to attract investment in Australia’s critical minerals projects. The fourth edition of the prospectus, published in December 2022, highlights 55 advanced projects seeking investment or offtake agreements.