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Australia seeks to develop reserves of rare earth minerals

By Ramla Soni

Australian government is committed to reduce carbon emissions and says its coal, gas and other resources will help to achieve this

Australia is in a bid to develop the reserves of critical minerals such as rare earths and is seeking partners with a large consumer base.

Matt Canavan, the country’s resources minister, said at a mining conference in Melbourne that the use of its natural mineral and energy resources is a “necessary condition to help end poverty, improve lives and provide for more equal societies”.

Australia is aiming to develop six critical mineral industries that it sees as key to future technologies. These include rare earths as well as cobalt, a key material in electric vehicle batteries, and tungsten and niobium, used in steel alloys.

The Australian government is strongly committed to the reduction of carbon emissions but it is just one of many global goals to help the world, Canavan said.

The nation also believes in making progress on the sustainable development goals of the United Nations which include No Poverty, Zero Hunger and Decent Work and Economic Growth

“If we truly want all countries to reduce emissions we must work towards making all countries rich enough to afford to do so first. If we restrict the use of Australian coal and gas that will make it harder for other countries to grow and develop,” Canavan said.

"Whether it is the need to reduce poverty, improve air quality or reduce carbon emissions, the greater use of clean Australian coal, gas and other resources “will help achieve the goals,” he added.

Australia’s Lynas Corp is the world’s largest producer of rare earths outside China, but other projects have been struggling for finance to start production, Reuters reported.

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