Australia adds to critical minerals list

The Albanese government has expanded the critical minerals list adding fluorine, molybdenum, arsenic, selenium, and tellurium. 

Minister for Resources  Madeleine King says that critical minerals are crucial to the energy transition, and the newly listed commodities are all used in the defence and technology sectors.

“The updated critical minerals list and the new list of strategic materials will help the government focus on those commodities needed to create jobs, keep us secure and power our economy.”

These new additions, specifically with fluorine, bodes well with ABx Group’s (ASX:ABX) subsidiary ALCORE and its ‘state-of-the-art’ bath pilot batch reactor. 

“The updated critical minerals list and the new list of strategic materials will help the government focus on those commodities needed to create jobs, keep us secure and power our economy

As previously reported, ABx, which has a market capitalisation of $17.20 million, has demonstrated that it can run the reactor safely under standard process conditions, as well as produce hydrogen fluorine. 

Fluorine is critical for the production of nuclear material for nuclear power plants and for the insulation of electric towers. 

ABx’s reactor is operating at the ALCORE Technology Centre on the New South Wales Central Coast, which has been designed for the recovery of fluorine from ‘excess bath’ (an aluminium smelter waste) to produce hydrogen fluoride. 

Aluminium fluoride is an essential chemical for aluminium production. ALCORE has developed a world-first process to recover hydrogen fluoride from aluminium smelter bath, which can be combined with aluminium hydroxide to produce aluminium fluoride. 

Helium has also been removed from the critical minerals list — aligning Australia’s list more closely to the lists of international strategic partners. 

Further, the new strategic materials list identifies commodities essential for the energy transition, but which are not at risk of supply disruptions. This new list includes copper, nickel, aluminium, phosphorous, tin, and zinc. 

These commodities have well-established industries, greater global market depth, clearer price transparency, and stable supply chains, according to the Albanese government. 

Minister King adds: “Australian copper, nickel, aluminium, phosphorous, tin, and zinc will be vital to the world’s energy transition, which is why for the first time ever we have articulated their economic and strategic importance by creating the new strategic minerals list.”

Details of the updated list are available from the Department of Industry, Science, and Resources. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au  

Images: ABx
Author Image
Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.