This snazzy new Critical Minerals Strategy looks wrapped around six focal points, which the Government says it will support with all it can offer in communication, coordination, regulation and financial support.

“Support will be prioritised for minerals that are used in priority technologies.” Don’t know what those are yet.

The government says that: ‘following extensive public consultation… yada yada… to achieve the Australian Government’s goals for the critical minerals sector and “…to help deliver diverse, resilient and sustainable supply chains, meet our net zero ambitions, maximise the economic opportunity presented by our minerals endowment, and maintain and grow our sovereign capability…” here are the chosen super 6 ways to achieve the Australian Government’s goals for the critical minerals sector:

Via Fed Gov.

Let’s break them down then:

Developing strategically important projects

“Targeted, proportionate support from the Australian Government to de-risk strategically important critical minerals projects, attract private finance, and ensure Australian processing and manufacturing projects can access Australian minerals…”

• Provide targeted and proportionate support to de-risk projects, crowd in commercial finance
and help overcome market distortions
• Enable a pipeline of new critical mineral discoveries and projects by supporting exploration
• Review R&D support, including licensing and commercialisation settings
• Attract international IP to grow domestic capability in refining and processing critical minerals
• Analyse domestic industries and develop options to ensure Australian industries can access
the minerals they need.

Attracting investment and building international partnerships

“Increased investment from and collaboration with likeminded partners to grow Australia’s downstream processing capability and build diverse, resilient and sustainable global supply chains.”

• Optimise trade and investment settings for priority technologies
• Facilitate business-to-business engagement, including business missions, to secure offtake,
equity and debt
• Attract international investment to support project development and downstream processing
opportunities aligned with our national interest
• Step up our international engagement with bilateral partners and in multilateral forums to align
policy frameworks.

 First Nations engagement and benefit sharing

“Genuine engagement and collaboration with First Nations communities that promotes benefit sharing and respects the land and water rights and interests of First Nations people and communities.”

• Strengthen engagement and partnerships with First Nations people and communities,
respecting their land and water rights and interests
• Support the critical minerals sector’s immediate and long-term social licence to operate and its
ongoing sustainability. This includes creating economic opportunities in regional and
First Nations communities while protecting cultural heritage and sacred sites
• Work with First Nations communities and their representative organisations to build their
capacity to engage with critical minerals proponents
• Work to improve equity and investment opportunities for First Nations interests.

Promoting Australia as a world leader in ESG performance

“Regulatory and policy frameworks set by the Commonwealth Government are fit for purpose and will: enable fast, efficient and durable environmental approvals while upholding robust environmental protections; embed strong ESG practices that enable access to global markets; support the sector’s enduring social license to operate; fairly share the benefits of critical minerals development with communities, including First Nations Australians.”

• Reinforce our high ESG credentials to maintain social license and improve market access
• Shape global ESG standards to ensure the clean energy transition is socially and
environmentally responsible
• Work with all levels of government to streamline environmental approvals.

 Unlocking investment in enabling infrastructure and services

“Strategically planned enabling infrastructure and services help develop industrial hubs and link the critical minerals sector to domestic and global markets. This reduces costs, lowers project risk and attracts large-scale investment.”

• Work with jurisdictions and industry on ways to unlock investment in enabling infrastructure
• Ensure public and private infrastructure investment decisions appropriately consider critical
minerals projects and related heavy industry precincts
• Consider how existing infrastructure projects can be augmented to help achieve the vision of
this Strategy.

Growing a skilled workforce

“A skilled, diverse and growing workforce that enables the desired development of Australia’s critical minerals sector, particularly as we move into downstream processing.”

• Build on our existing investment in skills and education to increase the number of highly
skilled specialists available for critical minerals projects
• Consider how we can better target and apply our skilled migration settings to support industry
• Work with industry and state and territory governments to improve community sentiment and
understanding of the mining sector’s role in energy transition and lift its profile by highlighting
the broad range of employment opportunities available, including the role of critical minerals
and energy transition metals in net zero.