Australia United States strategic elements

Australian critical minerals producers set to benefit from US supply chain security talks

Australian battery-metals and rare-earth producers are set for a boost following a commitment by the United States to work with Australia to ensure supply chain security for a series of strategic elements that are key for defence and new-energy applications.

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan and a delegation of Australian critical minerals producers met with United Stated Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in Washington on Wednesday to discuss funding options and forming closer working relationships.

The talks, which are part of the inaugural Strategic Economic Dialogue between Australia and the United States, are aimed at helping to tackle regulatory barriers that prevent US Government agencies from financing critical overseas projects.

In November 2021 the United States updated its list of 50 critical minerals that are considered “essential to the economic or national security of the United States”, many of which are supplied by Australian producers.

Delegation member Joe Kaderavek, CEO of Broken Hill miner Cobalt Blue said: “The US is waking up on EVs after a 4-year slumber. We are witnessing a combination of policy changes and strong demand aligned to 2035 environmental and EV sales targets. Similar to the EU, the demand is for high quality, ethically sourced cobalt.”

We are witnessing a combination of policy changes and strong demand aligned to 2035 environmental and EV sales targets”

Minister Tehan added: “This delegation will help deepen the ties between Australian critical minerals businesses, potential investors, and the US government,”

Our Government is working to help facilitate partnerships between Australian critical mineral project proponents and potential sources of offtake and investment.

As global demand grows for critical minerals for use in rechargeable batteries, electronic devices and advanced technologies, Australia is well positioned to become a trusted supplier of critical minerals to the US, and the world.

Australia is a partner of choice for critical minerals investors, with one of the largest recoverable resources of critical minerals; a strong, efficient regulatory environment; and importantly, we offer supply chain resilience.”

Focus on supply chain security for critical minerals has come into sharp focus due to a series of geopolitical events including ongoing trade tensions with China, a major supplier of several key minerals, and the war in Ukraine.

Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of Mining.com.au and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.