Australia ready to supply world’s critical minerals

lithium mine Western Australia | Newsreel
Australia is the world's leading producer of lithium. | iStock

Australia is a leading supplier of the minerals the world needs to reach net zero, according to the latest Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources (AIMR) report.

The report, published by Geoscience Australia, found that in 2022, Australia produced 27 minerals, 15 of which ranked in the top five for global supply.

Of these 15, Australia ranked number one in the world for economic resources of gold, iron ore, lead, nickel, rutile, uranium, zinc and zircon.

AIMR 2023 found Australia remained the world’s largest producer of lithium, accounting for 52 per cent of the global total, with production up 36 per cent to a record 75 kilotonnes.

Lithium is a critical mineral, essential for battery production.

Australia also ranked as the world’s largest producer of bauxite, iron ore and rutile and it found uranium production was up 20 per cent.

Additionally, 13 critical minerals saw their Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDR) increase significantly during 2022.

EDR is defined by Geoscience Australia as resources for which profitable extraction or production under defined investment assumptions is possible.

Minerals with increased EDR included manganese ore (up by 79 per cent), platinum group elements (up by 45 per cent), and rare earth elements (up by 34 per cent).

In addition, the EDR of tin, a strategic material, was up by 6 per cent.

The report, which is available on the Geoscience Australia website stated investment in mineral exploration had increased by 13 per cent, to $4 billion.