UK and Australia Advance Partnership on Rare Minerals
In a new pledge to enhance secure global supply, the Australian and British governments have promised to collaborate on critical minerals development.
In Perth, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK minister for the Indo-Pacific, and Madeleine King, Australian resources minister, signed a statement of intent to collaborate on securing supply chains of raw and processed minerals. The ministers plan to achieve this by boosting investment and establishing downstream processing capabilities.
King said that Australia would collaborate with the UK to create robust, sustainable, and transparent supply chains for critical minerals, aiding both nations in reducing emissions and achieving their net-zero targets.
The UK's Critical Minerals Strategy, published in July 2022, highlighted China's control of supply chains and how it makes Britain vulnerable to market shocks, geopolitical events, and logistical disruptions. The recent commitment with Australia is a step toward building more resilient supply chains.
Trevelyan expressed that the partnership between the UK and Australia, leveraging Australia's unmatched production capacity and the UK's mineral trading and finance expertise, would help protect global supply chains from future shocks and support thousands of high-paying jobs.
Australia, the world's largest producer of raw lithium, is developing new rare earth mines in its northern region.
The UK and Australia's latest commitment to partner in critical minerals development follows a free trade agreement between the two countries that recently received Royal Assent in the UK Parliament.
Last year, a similar minerals agreement was signed between Britain and South Africa. In 2020, the UK and Australia established the Critical Minerals Joint Working Group to enhance collaboration on critical minerals.
Last month, attendees at the Critical Metals and Minerals Conference held in London were warned that the UK could fall behind China and the EU in the race to strengthen critical minerals supply chains.
Source: Argus Media