Virtual National Critical Minerals Research and Development Centre

17 March 2022

I welcome the exciting announcement by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt on 16 March, which sets out a new Critical Minerals Strategy, including a series of initiatives to build a competitive critical minerals sector in Australia.

Geoscience Australia is well placed to help cement Australia's reputation as a critical minerals powerhouse. We have a strong track record of stimulating mineral exploration investment, with our pre-competitive data opening new exploration and development opportunities across Australia. This is made possible through programs like the $225 million Exploring for the Future Program we are delivering here at Geoscience Australia.

The establishment of a $50 million virtual National Critical Minerals Research and Development Centre is a central component of the updated 2022 Critical Minerals Strategy and provides Geoscience Australia with another opportunity to help boost Australia’s credentials as a reliable and responsible supplier of critical minerals globally. The announcement is also a demonstration of how Geoscience Australia is continuing to deliver on our Strategy 2028 targets.

The Centre will be led by CSIRO, with Geoscience Australia and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) as partners. Together, we will unlock new sources of economically viable critical minerals; develop Australian intellectual property in critical minerals processing; target technical bottlenecks in strategic supply chains; and drive breakthrough collaborative research.

The 2022 updated Critical Minerals Strategy has a vision to make Australia integral to meeting the growing global demand. Australia is blessed with an extraordinary endowment of critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, and rare earths. Geoscience Australia has a real opportunity in this centre to support new discoveries of world-class deposits to meet the rapidly accelerating global demand for critical minerals and realise Australia's full critical mineral resource potential.

More information on these initiatives is available at Minister Pitt’s media release.

Dr James Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Geoscience Australia