Saturday 23rd Oct, 2021

New $2B loan facility for critical minerals projects

lithium processing

The Federal Government will establish a $2 billion loan facility for Australian critical minerals projects to help secure the vital supplies of resources and to support the resources jobs of the future.

Australia has one of the world’s largest recoverable reserves of the critical minerals used in advanced technologies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the fund would effectively help fill finance gaps in critical minerals resources developments to get them off the ground.

“The commercial dimensions of the critical minerals market mean it is a difficult place to get established. We want to ensure that Australia’s resources producers do get established to they can link up with others in our supply chains in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Morrison said.

“Critical minerals are a strategic area for governments too because they are fundamental to the future energy economy.

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“These projects also mean jobs in construction, infrastructure development and ongoing roles for the mining sector.”

Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Dan Tehan said Australia was well placed to become a reliable supplier of critical minerals to ensure supply in our region and support jobs and businesses in Australia.

“The global growth in demand for critical minerals to be used in the production of the latest technologies represents an incredible opportunity for Australia to utilise its natural resources and world-leading mining know how to become a leader in the extraction, processing and supply of critical minerals,” Tehan said.

“Australian critical minerals will help other countries in the Indo-Pacific and beyond to accelerate their industrial reforms and transition to low-carbon technologies and that benefits Australia and our partners.”

Resources Minister Keith Pitt said Australia is already among the world’s top suppliers of some of the world’s most sought-after critical minerals and there is enormous potential through its untapped reserves.

“The lithium industry alone, which is essential to develop new battery technology, is forecast to be worth $400 billion globally by 2030 and initiatives like this will mean Australia is well placed to grab its share of the market,” Pitt said.

“The new facility comes on top of other initiatives like the Government’s $225 Exploring for the Future Fund to support new resources exploration across the country.”

The investment in critical minerals aims to make Australia a world-leader in the mining and downstream processing of in-demand resources, supporting jobs and communities, particularly in regional Australia.