Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy a welcome step for Australia’s net zero ambitions

21 June 2023

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has welcomed the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy 2023-30 

Critical minerals, such as lithium, cobalt and other rare earth elements, are essential to supporting the transition to net zero emissions in Australia and worldwide.  

The Academy, comprised of over 900 of Australia’s leading technologists, engineers and applied scientists, recognises the vital role that critical minerals already play in the world’s transition to a net zero future and the importance of supporting Australia’s critical minerals industries. 

Developing a circular economy for critical minerals, as outlined in the Strategy, will be crucial to getting the most out of the growing industry. Recovery, reprocessing and recycling will all play an important role in reducing the sector’s carbon footprint. 

Kylie Walker, ATSE CEO, highlighted the importance of developing Australia’s down-stream processing capabilities for critical minerals. 

“Australia must do more than simply dig minerals out of the ground. Our nation is well placed to become a world leader in using our critical minerals to make the technologies needed to fuel our green energy transformation.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to improving workforce diversity and engagement between the critical minerals sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The benefits of critical minerals extraction must flow through to local communities. I urge the government to go further, and help facilitate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in critical minerals projects,” said Kylie Walker.  

ATSE is also pleased to see the Strategy focus on developing and growing a skilled workforce to build Australia’s critical minerals industry. The government’s commitment to inclusive workplaces and supporting Jobs and Skills Australia’s important role in addressing skills shortages are also welcomed. These actions strongly align with ATSE’s recommendations to the public consultation on the Strategy. 

“ATSE has advocated for coordination plans to encourage and facilitate industrial clusters for the critical minerals industry and we welcome this approach.  

“Alignment within the sector will help to reduce transportation costs, manage infrastructure, and support cost-efficiency for the sector. We look forward to seeing more detail from the government about how this coordination will be managed,” said Kylie Walker.  

As highlighted in ATSE’s Mining and Mineral Resources Position Statement, cooperation is critical to realising the benefits of Australia’s mineral resources sector.  

ATSE looks forward to leveraging its vast network of expertise and working with the government to support the development of Australia’s critical minerals sector.  

Notes to media: 

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker is available for interview. 

Media contact: 

Edwyn Shiell – Director, Communications and Outreach | | 0402 254 968 

The Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.