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Australia joins critical minerals alliance

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

Australia has joined Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States in launching the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance.

Australia has joined Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, in launching the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance to drive the global uptake of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive and responsible mining, processing and recycling practices and responsible critical minerals supply chains.

The Alliance aligns with the G7 2030 Nature Compact commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, through a globally wide system change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) with a focus on sustainable and inclusive development.

Through the Alliance, members will voluntarily work toward developing sustainable and inclusive mining practices and sourcing critical minerals that:

  • Employ a nature-positive approach by encouraging industry practices or collaborating with industry on practices that prevent biodiversity loss, protect species at risk, support nature protection and minimise pollution, including driving toward net-positive benefits to the natural environment
  • Support local and Indigenous communities by respecting the respective rights and interests of local and Indigenous communities through engagement; promoting safe working conditions and responsible labour standards, diverse and inclusive workforces, supporting safe living conditions; and including members of Indigenous and local communities in economic benefits from mining that affects their well-being
  • Help fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working toward achieving net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, and promoting mining, processing and recycling processes that advance sustainability through ESG standards
  • Restore ecosystems by adopting requirements for reclamation and remediation to close and return mine sites to their natural state where feasible and holding responsible parties accountable for environmental harm
  • Build a circular economy by promoting material stewardship, including by-products and recovery from waste, keeping products in use longer as well as accelerating the reuse and recycling of critical minerals, which may reduce the number of new mines required to supply the minerals needed
  • Foster ethical corporate practices through sustainability reporting to investors and the public and by implementing due diligence in mineral supply chains as laid down in relevant internationally accepted guidelines.

Canada is currently hosting the 15th Conference of the Parties — COP15 — to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

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