Australia is taking another significant step towards establishing itself as a reliable, global supplier of critical minerals by developing an online portal for assessing the potential of a selection of these minerals.
The Critical Minerals Facilitation Office is partnering with Geoscience Australia to develop a web-based Critical Minerals Portal for assessing the economic and geological potential of selected critical minerals within Australia.
The collaboration builds on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India last week on critical minerals, as efforts by the Australian Government to grow the nation’s critical minerals sector build momentum.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the portal will increase the visibility of Australia’s high-quality critical mineral resources to international partners around the globe.
“Australia has one of the world’s most technically advanced, innovative and efficient resources industries, a skilled workforce, stable investment climate and government incentives,” he said.
“The portal will provide a tool for users from around the world to assess the economic and geological potential of critical mineral resources, highlighting Australia’s significant potential as an investment destination.”
The portal will demonstrate Australia’s significant critical minerals endowment and is expected to be regularly updated by Geoscience Australia using its world-class data sets. Existing mines, tailing dams and associated infrastructure will also be captured.
Critical minerals have important economic functions, can’t easily be substituted and face some degree of supply risk – such as geological scarcity, geopolitical issues, trade policy or other factors .
What constitutes as ‘critical’ differs between countries, depend on essential demand applications, productive capacity and import dependence.
The minerals ranked as most critical by the United States, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the European Union including the United Kingdom, are as follows (ranked by Geoscience Australia based on synthesis of individual country rankings):
Rare-earth elements (REE), gallium (Ga), indium (In), tungsten (W), platinum-group elements (PGE) including platinum (Pt) and palladium (Pd), cobalt (Co), niobium (Nb), magnesium (Mg), molybdenum (Mo), antimony (Sb), lithium (Li), vanadium (V), nickel (Ni), tantalum (Ta), tellurium (Te), chromium (Cr) and manganese (Mn).
 Outlook for Selected Critical Minerals: Australia 2019.