Australia strikes pact with UK on minerals, rare earths

Australia and the United Kingdom have pledged to boost the global supply of critical minerals needed to power a cleaner world economy.

Australia is the world’s top producer of raw lithium and other crucial ingredients for electric cars, new energy equipment and advanced communications.

But with China dominating the supply of purified critical minerals and rare earths, the two allies have agreed to work together to shore up supply chains.

The UK Minister for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan on Tuesday signed a letter of intent with federal Resources Minister Madeleine King in Perth.

Ms Trevelyan said the two countries wanted to futureproof supplies as critical minerals are essential to achieving net zero emissions.

“Australia’s unmatched production capacity, combined with the UK’s mineral trading and finance expertise, will boost global supplies, help protect supply chains from future shocks, and support thousands of skilled, high-paying jobs,” she said.

Ms King said the pact with the UK further strengthened Australia’s resolve to be a global supplier of the resources needed for clean-energy technology, such as batteries, electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines.

The International Energy Agency expects the need for battery technology and electronics to grow four-fold by 2040.

“We will work closely with the UK to build resilient, sustainable, and transparent supply chains for critical minerals, which help both the UK and Australia to lower emissions and achieve net zero commitments,” Ms King said.

Sovereign processing and manufacturing, increased investment ties for projects, and research and development are covered by the statement of intent.

They also pledged to boost skills, work with allies and promote high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

Australia’s new critical minerals strategy, a key part of the commitment to net zero by 2050, will be released later this year.


Marion Rae
(Australian Associated Press)


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