Australia, United States Sign Critical Minerals Agreement

Australia and the United States have agreed to cooperate in developing their understanding of critical mineral supplies in both countries.

The Geosciences agencies of both Australia and the United States have agreed to collaborate on critical mineral mapping in each country.

Representatives from Geoscience Australia as well as Matt Canavan, Australia’s Minister for Resources, were in the US this week for the signing of the agreement with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) during high-level talks between the governments.

Canavan said the signing of the agreement was a key step in both countries securing their respective critical mineral supplies, which include lithium, cobalt and rare earths vital for battery technology, electronics, renewables and defence equipment.

“Growing global demand for critical minerals means there is huge scope for Australia to develop secure and stable supply chains to meet the growing demand for critical minerals in key economies such as the US,” said Canavan in a release on Tuesday (November 19).

“The US has a need for critical minerals and Australia’s abundant supplies makes us a reliable and secure international supplier of a wide range of those, including rare earth elements.”

The US critical minerals list includes 35 minerals.

According to Geoscience Australia, the new agreement “focuses on joint critical mineral potential mapping and quantitative mineral assessments; determining geological controls on critical mineral distribution; and developing data analytics capability to understand supply and demand scenarios for developing the critical minerals pipeline.”

Canavan and the Australian government were quite optimistic heading in to the talks last week, saying on November 15 that the high-level talks between the two governments would be used as an opportunity for Australia to talk up its role in the critical minerals supply chain.

Australia has long been aware of its unique position when it comes to rare earths and critical minerals, with the country home to the world’s only major rare earths producer outside of China in the form of Lynas (ASX:LYC,OTC Pink:LYSCF) as well as a handful of shovel-ready rare earths projects scattered throughout the country.

Speaking at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne last month, David Grabau, who is the senior investment specialist for resources and energy at Austrade, noted that the US had proven itself to be a unique opportunity for Australia given the federal government there didn’t control the critical minerals supply, putting the Australian government in an ideal position to spruik its own market.

The approach to the news that Australia and the United States had signed a formal agreement to collaborate on critical minerals was very different between the countries, with the Australian government highlighting the financing opportunities of the agreement, while the US Government focused on national security.

US Secretary of the Interior said in a release that the formalization of the agreement was “an important milestone in reducing the (United States’) susceptibility to critical mineral supply disruptions.”

The US has been casting around for alternatives to the current supply chain for critical minerals, with China singled out in its “Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals,” which it published in mid-2019. Along with Australia, the US has also been seeking to do deals with neighbouring Canada.

China’s dominance of the critical minerals supply chain is well-known, with more than 70 percent of global rare earths production centred there, along with large swathes of downstream processing capacity across the critical minerals sector.

The supply chain of these minerals has been increasingly in the spotlight as the US-China trade war grinds on through 2019. Various sections of the American government have been focusing their attention on the issue, and China has previously restricted rare earths exports to Japan to prove a point.

In mid-November, China announced an increase to its rare earths production quota in response to increased demand.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Graphite Metallurgical Test Work Update

Highlights:

  • Bulk sample of Springdale graphite concentrate estimated to be completed in Q2 2021.
  • Concentrate material will then be sent to Germany to test its amenability for the production of battery anode material suitable for use in EVs.
  • Final test results expected in Q3 2021.

Comet Resources Ltd (ASX:CRL) is pleased provide an update on ongoing test work on natural flake graphite from its Springdale Graphite Project (Springdale) located in Western Australia. Both excellent grade and recoveries were achieved on initial tests, leading to commencement of work to produce a bulk sample for further testing. Importantly, the graphite concentrates previously produced demonstrated a unique and potentially very valuable characteristic in its small size distribution, with two-thirds of the product passing the 38 µm size fraction screen. Generally, this small size fraction of graphite is a by-product of processing of larger flake fractions, which produces smaller size graphite, but in doing so also damages the smaller flake material in the process, reducing their performance and value. Deposits that contain high quality ultra-fine graphite are uncommon and are potentially suitable for supplying the expanding battery anode market, which continues to grow as the sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increase. Graphite suitable for battery anode production also achieves premium pricing in graphite markets, making it a highly sought-after product.

Keep reading... Show less

Medallion Completes Diagnostic Testing with Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization

Medallion Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: MDL; OTCQB: MLLOF; Frankfurt: MRDN) “Medallion” or the “Company”) announces completion of a suite of diagnostic test work at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) in Sydney, to extract rare earth elements (REE) from mineral sand monazite. The monazite was sourced from an Australian mineral sand mine. Discussion is ongoing with additional prospective suppliers.

Mineral sand monazite is an abundant REE-rich feedstock, that can be accessed as a by-product from global mineral-sand mines that target zirconium and titanium, without the need for additional mining. Medallion’s business model is centered on the Medallion Monazite Process , a transferable and scalable technology designed to accept multiple mineral-sand monazite feedstocks and extract high-value REEs with high efficiency, high recovery and zero liquid waste.

Keep reading... Show less

Galaxy Resources Limited Announcement

Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) ( Company ) advises that the following announcements have been made to the Australian Securities Exchange which appears on the Company’s platform (ASX):

  • Corporate Presentation – Sal de Vida Development Plan
  • Sal de Vida development Plan
  • Sal de Vida Resource & Reserve Update
  • March 2021 Quarterly Results Conference Call
  • Notice of Annual General Meeting/ Proxy Form
  • 2020 Annual Report
  • 2020 Sustainability Report
  • 2020 Corporate Governance Statement
  • Appendix 4G

The announcement can be viewed at:

Keep reading... Show less

Torian Resources Limited Significant Gold Results from Surface at Mt Stirling

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Torian Resources Ltd (ASX:TNR) is pleased to advise that recent drilling results continue to extend the Mt Stirling Gold System over ~1.1km of Strike, ~300m at depth, and it remains open in multiple directions.

Highlights:

– The interpreted strike of the Mt Stirling gold system exceeds 1.160km with Mt Stirling Main Zone; Hanging Wall and Viserion lodes all remaining open along strike and down-dip.

Keep reading... Show less

eMetals Limited Updates Shareholders On Exploration – April 12, 2021

eMetals Limited (ASX:EMT) (eMetals or Company) is pleased to update shareholders on exploration activities which have commenced across the Company’s projects.

HIGHLIGHTS

Keep reading... Show less

Top News

Related News