Minister Addresses Future of Resources Sector

Dept of Industry, Science and Resources

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King has outlined the achievements and challenges of the nation’s resources sector in a ministerial statement to Parliament.

Minister King used the statement to outline how Australian resources will help the world lower emissions, and she urged the sector to also work to lower its own emissions to help Australia reach net zero by 2050.

“In order to decarbonise, the world needs our resources industry and our critical minerals,” Minister King said.

“Australia has vast reserves of critical minerals such as lithium, vanadium, rare earths elements and silicon which are essential to make clean-energy technologies, such as batteries, solar panels and electric vehicles.

“Unlocking the full potential of our critical minerals endowments is a core part of realising our ambition to be a renewable energy superpower.”

Minister King said traditional resources such as gas, iron ore, bauxite and coal will also be crucial to help manufacture the technologies that will ultimately bring down emissions in Australia and around the world.

Gas has a unique role in the transition, supporting renewable energy to displace thermal coal in electricity grids while energy storage solutions like batteries and hydroelectricity were scaled up.

She said Australia needed a pipeline of new projects through exploration, to build a workforce with future-facing skills, leverage Australia’s world-leading scientists and mining equipment and technology sector and to invest in value-adding capabilities.

The sector also needed to work to make sure it met community expectations, with genuine partnerships with First Nations people, by protecting the environment, and through a workplace culture that respects women and prioritises workplace safety.

Minister King said the resources sector was responsible for around one-fifth of Australia’s emissions, and it will need to play its part for Australia to meet its national targets.

“Australian resource projects are already at the leading edge globally in deploying renewables, electrification, methane abatement technologies and carbon capture and storage,” Minister King said.

“While it is up to companies to make the investments needed to take these technologies forward, the government will also play a role. Through the Safeguard Mechanism reforms, we are providing the resources sector with the certainty it needs to invest in technologies and decarbonise its operations.”

Minister King said she would soon release Australia’s new Critical Minerals Strategy, which will help grow the sector and reflect the important role critical minerals can play in the move to net zero.

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