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Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King will visit Canada and the US from March 3–8 to engage in complex discussions surrounding critical minerals.

King will attend the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto from March 3–6.

The conference is one of the world’s premier mineral exploration and mining conventions that brings together up to 30,000 attendees from over 130 countries for its educational programming, networking events and business opportunities.

King will also attend the seventh annual International Mines Ministers Summit, which is part of the PDAC and provides an opportunity for the global mining community to explore challenges and opportunities affecting the industry.

Alongside her conference appearances, King will meet with Canadian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to discuss a wide range of challenges affecting the industry.

She will also co-chair the principals meeting of the Critical Minerals Taskforce in Washington, D.C. alongside senior adviser to the energy and investment president Amos Hochstein.

“Australia, Canada and the United States have a shared commitment to market transparency and diverse supply chains for critical minerals, and a shared interest in promoting recognition of the high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards in our respective resources sectors,” King said.

“My talks in Canada and the United States will also discuss disruptions in global markets, and any opportunities to address market uncertainties.”

King has repeatedly called for a ‘green price premium’ for nickel. The pricing structure would differentiate between Australian-produced nickel that follows strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards and the low-quality nickel produced in countries such as Indonesia, which have lower ESG standards.

“It is of vital importance to the Australian resources and mineral processing industry that international pricing reflects the high ESG standards and commitment to sound workplace safety and worker conditions that all countries should aspire to,” King said.

“Consumers and investors around the world, seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in green technology should have the opportunity to know their choices don’t sacrifice high environmental, social and governance standards.” 

With faltering nickel prices caused mainly by a supply surplus and an increase in nickel supplies from countries like Indonesia and China, Australian nickel miners have been feeling the pinch.

A range of solutions were recently discussed at a roundtable hosted by King and WA Mines Minister David Michael and attended by Australian nickel miners.