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Reclaiming leadership_ Australia and the global critical minerals race Banner

Reclaiming leadership: Australia and the global critical minerals race

By Ian Satchwell

Climate policy, geopolitics and market forces are coalescing to deliver Australia a global leadership opportunity in critical minerals. To grasp that opportunity, Australia needs both to utilise its domestic mineral endowment and its mining knowledge and technology and to leverage the global footprint of Australian companies to help build a global supply chain network.

How Australia responds will not only determine economic benefits to the nation but will also affect the world’s ability to achieve minerals security and the sustainability required for the global energy transition and inclusive economic growth.

The global energy transition and other high-technology applications have increased demand for critical minerals, particularly in countries that have strong complex manufacturing industries. At the same time, the concentration of production of many critical minerals, the dominance of China in supply chains and its actions to restrict supply and influence markets, are disrupting both minerals production and availability.

In response, developed nations have formulated critical minerals strategies and entered into bilateral and multilateral agreements, involving supplier nations and customer nations, to build alternative supply chains that are more diverse, secure and sustainable. Australia has committed in multiple agreements to work with like-minded nations to achieve this.

This report is intended to provide the government with a road map to ‘step up’ to (re)activate Australia’s global mineral leadership.