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The push to develop the Australia–India Critical Minerals Investment Partnership has reached a new milestone, with ministers agreeing to deepen cooperation and extend existing commitments.

Australia’s Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King and India’s Honourable Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Shri Pralhad Joshi met on March 10 and announced the partnership had identified five target projects on which to undertake detailed due diligence.

The projects include two lithium and three cobalt projects.

Under the partnership, new supply chains between the two countries will be built to help India’s plans to lower emissions from its electricity network using critical minerals processed in Australia.

India also plans to become a global manufacturing hub for electric vehicles, something lithium is widely used for.

“India’s goals to lower carbon emissions and boost electric vehicle production presents great opportunities and prospects for Australia’s critical minerals sector, for renewable exports and for building stronger supply chains,” King said.

“We are delighted to announce we have completed the first phase of work under the partnership, and (have) taken an important step to building new, robust and sustainable supply chains between India and Australia for the key battery minerals such as lithium and cobalt.

“Through market soundings and working with commercial advisers, we have identified five projects on which the parties will proceed to sign non-disclosure agreements and begin undertaking detailed due diligence.

“Working together, both the nations are committed to reducing emissions, guaranteeing energy security and diversifying global markets for critical minerals and clean technologies.”

The partnership saw renewed focus after Joshi visited Tianqi Lithium Energy’s Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide refinery in Western Australia in 2022.

“The partnership between India’s KABIL and CMO Australia has reached the first milestone in a short span of one year from signing of the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) in March 2022 between both the organisations,” Joshi said.