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Australia and France have signed an agreement to pursue stronger cooperation on critical mineral supply chains.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King travelled to Europe and the United Kingdom last week to promote Australia as a consistent critical minerals supplier that will help the world reach its net-zero targets.

During the visit the Bilateral Dialogue on Critical Minerals agreement was signed by King and France’s Minister for the energy transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher in Paris.

Under the agreement France and Australia will cooperate on a joint study into critical minerals supply chains.

The aim is to identify the specific needs of both countries in relation to batteries and rare earth magnets which are needed for clean energy technology, as well as high-technology medical and defence applications.

“The joint study will also look at what the governments of France and Australia can do to overcome obstacles to secure stable supply chains for critical minerals,” King said.

“Australia has abundant reserves of critical minerals and our Critical Minerals Strategy sets out the pathway for Australia to diversify global supply chains and become a globally significant supplier by 2030.

“Australia also has a reputation as a reliable export partner, has strong environmental and social standards and corporate governance frameworks and is an attractive place for foreign investment, particularly in the resources sector.”

Minister King said Australia and France are both committed to lowering emissions and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

“The world’s clean energy transition will ride on the back of Australia’s critical minerals,” King said.

The joint study is due to be completed by the end of 2023.