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Federal Minister for Resources Madeleine King has addressed the Australian Financial Review Mining Summit with a vision for the future of Australia’s critical minerals sector.

King emphasised Australia’s critical mineral resources as being as pivotal to national security as they are to the country’s future prosperity and its efforts to fight climate change.

“Australia’s resource industry is being tested by increased competition and geostrategic challenges – as well as the imperative to decarbonise and support the global response to climate change,” King said.

“Access to processed critical minerals is vital to the development of renewable energy industries and to the security of this nation and to the security of our allies.”

But King said production is concentrated in a small number of countries outside Australia, making their supply vulnerable to trade disruption.

She argued other countries are already moving to provide significant incentives, including tax incentives to attract investment to grow their industries of the future.

“We must ensure the mining industry is properly prepared for those challenges ahead,” she said.

“We need our resources industry to be there to provide for future generations of Australians – just as it has provided for us.

“We must act now or the world will move on without us.”

King cited the Federal Government’s Future Made in Australia policy, emphasising its focus on keeping the resources sector strong.

Government investments include a 10 per cent production tax incentive on all 31 critical minerals and $3.4 funding in Geoscience Australia, with investments totalling over $20 billion.

“This Australian Government investment is a down payment on Australia taking responsibility to lead on critical minerals globally,” King said.

Foreign investment was also on the docket for discussion, with King highlighting the importance of Australia’s strategic partnerships.

“Just as foreign investment helped us build our iron ore and LNG industries, foreign investment will support the growth of our critical minerals and rare earths industries,” she said.