Australia boosts critical mineral resources

DATA released by Geoscience Australia during PDAC in Toronto has shown big increases in the country’s critical minerals resources.
Australia boosts critical mineral resources Australia boosts critical mineral resources Australia boosts critical mineral resources Australia boosts critical mineral resources Australia boosts critical mineral resources

Australia is promoting its mineral potential at PDAC. Image: Gekko/Twitter

Staff reporter

Tantalum resources were up 79% in 2018, lithium was up 68%, platinum group elements and rare earths each up 26%, potash by 24%, vanadium by 17% and cobalt by 11%.

GA said the big movers reflected increased discovery due to higher demand.

"These critical minerals are integral to the production of mobile phones, LCD screens, microchips, magnets, batteries and the new and emerging technologies that will drive our economy and innovation into the future," federal minister for resources, water and northern Australia Keith Pitt said.

Diamond, bauxite and phosphate resources declined.

At 2018 production rates, Australia has more than 100 years' worth of resources in nickel, mineral sands, black and brown coal, uranium, tantalum, rare earths and cobalt, 50-100 years in copper, bauxite, iron ore, lithium, lead, silver, tin and PGEs.

Australia has less than 50 years' worth of resources in gold, manganese, diamonds and antimony.

The latest Australia's Identified Mineral Resources (AIMR) report was part of several publications released to coincide with PDAC.

"Earlier this week at PDAC, on behalf of the Australian government, Geoscience Australia established an agreement with the Geological Survey of Canada to work together to better understand our respective geological resource potential," Pitt said.

"This follows the agreement we signed with the United States last year to collaborate on critical minerals research with the United States Geological Survey.

"At home, our Critical Minerals Facilitation Office is working to support local critical minerals projects to secure investment, finance and market access. This will open up new opportunities in trade and manufacturing, creating jobs of the future for thousands of Australians."

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