Resources Minister Madeleine King Commits $22m For Critical Minerals Research Projects

Massive Sulfide Nickel Ore Rock

Resources minister Madeleine King has announced $22 million in funding for three projects aimed at growing Australia’s critical minerals industry.

The funding was given through the federal government’s Critical Minerals Research and Development Hub and the projects will be led by hub member organisations.

Madeleine King, minister for resources.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has been awarded $13.9 million for a research project to accelerate the discovery, extraction and processing of rare earth elements from lower-grade deposits.

CSIRO has been awarded $5.2 million to develop intellectual property and know-how to support downstream industries to produce high-purity metals and materials, extending value chains for lithium, rare earths and supporting value-adding to tungsten ores and refractory metals.

Geoscience Australia has been awarded $2.7 million for research into development opportunities of a domestic industry for critical minerals such as gallium, germanium and indium, which are often by-products from processing primary commodities such as bauxite and zinc.

“These new research projects will support Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy and our ambition for Australia to be a global clean energy supplier,” said King.

“The path to net zero by 2050 runs through Australia’s resources sector. The new research will help Australia further develop critical minerals and rare earths processes and encourage downstream processing to produce components for clean technologies.”

These rare earth elements are crucial for many advanced technologies from batteries to smartphone screens and fibre optic cables.

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