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The Australian Aluminium Council has called on the Federal Government to add bauxite, alumina and aluminium to the nation’s list of critical minerals.

“Aluminium is, and will continue to be, one of the most widely used commodities in the global clean energy transition,” the AAC’s incoming president Mike Ferraro said.

“To capitalise on the nation’s abundance of these commodities and to position Australia as a supplier of choice, they need to be recognised as critical minerals.”

While all three of the commodities remain in healthy supply in Australia, the AAC maintains that they are essential resources for delivering the necessary infrastructure for the country’s decarbonisation efforts.

AAC chief Marghanita Johnson pointed out that aluminium makes up 85 per cent of the material in solar panels by weight. Additionally, the lightweight metal plays an important part in improving fuel efficiency and carbon efficiency in the transport sector.

The Federal Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy of 2022 saw the addition of high-purity alumina and silica to the country’s list of critical minerals, as both are essential to the electronics industry.

But the three newly proposed commodities remain absent from the list, despite the fact Canada, the US, and Europe all list bauxite and aluminium on their list of critical minerals.

Inclusion on the list could see relevant resources companies gaining access to a number of federal support funds in Australia, such as the $2 billion Critical Minerals Facility, but the ACC maintains the move is primarily to designed to give aluminium more prominence in policy debates.

“In addition to contributing to a decarbonised economy through our products, the aluminium industry is investing in the transition to net-zero through the development of new technologies to decarbonise our processes,” Ferraro said.

“The scale of the investment required to decarbonise is substantial and will require input from a range of stakeholders including government.

“Decarbonising Australia’s electricity supply is the biggest opportunity to support the transition in the next decade.”