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Federal, state and territory resources and mining ministers will unite to support the development of the Australian critical minerals sector.

At a ministerial roundtable in Perth, Federal Minister for Resources Madeleine King said the development of the sector should be seen as a national mission essential in supporting Australia to lower emissions and achieve its net-zero commitments.

Ministers from the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia were in attendance.

“This was the first ministerial roundtable since 2020, and over the past three years global demand for Australia’s critical minerals has increased dramatically,” King said.

“Ministers agreed that the development of our critical minerals sector is a national priority which will lead to new economic opportunities, particularly for regional Australia, and will help produce the materials needed to lower emissions in Australia and around the world.”

Australia has large reserves of the critical minerals, such as lithium and nickel, that are needed to develop net-zero technologies.

“The road to global net-zero passes through Australia’s resources industry and our emerging critical minerals sector,” King said.

The ministerial roundtable discussed how governments could support the growth of the sector by ensuring projects are approved in a timely manner and ensuring rigorous protections for the environment and communities continue.

The importance of developing policies to encourage investment in critical minerals and processing infrastructure was also up for discussion, as was the need for further efforts in exploration and creating common user infrastructure.

Looking to the future, ministers will use the roundtable as a regular meeting to foster collaboration, growth and investment in the critical minerals sector.

It will also provide an opportunity to ensure the new Critical Minerals Strategy draws on expert views and knowledge across all states and territories.