Australia’s position as a global critical mineral supplier will be further enhanced through a new dataset developed in partnership with the United States and Canada.
The Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative online portal, released today, contains the world’s largest dataset of critical minerals in and around ore deposits – more than 7000 mineral samples from over 60 countries.
It shows the occurrence of critical minerals such as cobalt, lithium and rare Earth elements predominantly across Australia, the United States and Canada, and can help identify new critical mineral provinces.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said this dataset could open new global supply chain opportunities for Australia.
“While Australia is known across the world for its rich gold and iron ore deposits, our country also has an abundance of critical minerals – which are key to everything from iPhones to fighter jets,” Minister Pitt said.
“This portal will help secure Australia’s future as a global supplier of critical minerals and contribute to the resource security of two of our most important international partners.”
The portal is a major deliverable of the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative, a collaboration between Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada and the United States Geological Survey.
The initiative was established in December 2019 to increase reliable supplies of critical minerals, following the United States-Australia dialogue on critical minerals.
The portal supports the work of the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, which is implementing the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy. The strategy aims to position Australia as a world leader in the exploration, extraction, production and processing of critical minerals.
The portal can be used by governments to identify options to diversify their sources of critical minerals, and by industry to inform and target their exploration strategies.
“Together with our other initiatives, including the Exploring for the Future program and the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, this government is sending a strong message to the world that Australia is reliable, responsible and ready for investment in critical minerals,” Minister Pitt said.