In a presentation to open Paydirt’s 2023 Battery Minerals Conference this morning, Commonwealth Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, the Honourable Madeleine King MP said we stood at a crossroads of immense opportunity for the country’s resources sector.
‘’The world needs Australia’s resources industry, especially our critical minerals projects. Just as our domestic energy system will need lithium, vanadium, cobalt and graphite products for our own energy transition, the road to net-zero runs through WA’s resources sector,” Minister King told delegates.
“The abundance of critical minerals in Australia presents an unmissable opportunity – an unmissable opportunity to develop an even bigger resources industry and to expand our mining, science and technology capabilities, and to move Australia into downstream processing and manufacturing.
“As the Prime Minister said recently: ‘There is a National Security imperative to mining more critical minerals and ensuring we process and manufacture products here’.
“Global demand for our critical minerals is rapidly increasing. This is being driven by factors such as global decarbonisation efforts, and by growth in electronic communication and clean energy technologies.”
The International Energy Agency projects the demand for many of the minerals used in electric vehicles and battery storage could grow by a factor of up to 30 times by 2040.
In the next financial year, export earnings from Australia’s resources sector are forecast to exceed $450 billion, while supporting more than 270,000 jobs Australia wide.
Minister King said in Western Australia alone, the sector employed 157,000 people, second only to the State’s public sector.
“With no disrespect to our wonderful and professional public sector, what a great thing it would be if we could say one day there are more miners than public servants in Western Australia,” she said.
The eighth edition of Paydirt’s Battery Minerals Conference in being held across 21-22 March at Pan Pacific Perth.