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Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King has reportedly met with US Pentagon representatives earlier this week to discuss both governments co-investing in an Australian nickel project.

King is currently visiting Canada and the US to engage in complex discussions surrounding critical minerals.

As reported, King met with the US Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment William La Plant at the Pentagon on March 8 to evaluate available options amid weakening nickel prices that led to several operating Australian nickel facilities either announcing a reduction in operations or going into care and maintenance.

“I think it’s fair to say they are keen to work with us to make sure we’re able to have a nickel industry that survives,” King said.

“It was very important to explain the situation with nickel and make sure everyone was well aware of how important (the) industry is for the supply chain and as a canary in the coal mine around what comes next. I think it help(ed) the (US Department of Defence) (understand) the immediacy of the problem.”

King’s critical discussions with the US and Canada follow the roundtable she and WA Mines Minister David Michael hosted in late January with nickel and lithium producers to discuss challenges facing the industry.

After the meeting, King and Michael said they would work together to accelerate discussions on incentivising investment while urgently progressing discussions with State and Territory Governments on common user infrastructure for critical minerals.

King also declared nickel a critical mineral in February and WA Premier Roger Cook offered support to the nickel sector by announcing a 50 per cent royalty relief program.