New opportunities in critical minerals revealed

In Exploration, Government/Policy, Latest News, Mineral Processing, Resource Extraction & Processing
Geoscience Australia

The industry could make a lot of money if it invests in these new growth areas, a new publication has revealed.

Geoscience Australia claims the industry could become a major global supplier of minerals needed for 21st Century technologies. The Critical Minerals in Australia report, prepared by RMIT University and Monash University, reveals new and emerging technologies will need critical minerals.

“The growing list of new and emerging technologies using critical minerals includes advanced manufacturing and health applications, rechargeable batteries, renewable energy systems and electric cars,” Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said in a public statement. “We are one of the world’s top five producers of antimony, cobalt, lithium and rare earths, minerals rated as ‘critical’ by the US, UK or EU.”

The report predicts there will be strong demand for chromite, platinum-group elements, vanadium, phosphate rock and tungsten.

“Some of these projects rely on new mines (e.g. Dubbo-Toongi, SCONI), which are under active assessment by owner companies, whilst some are now at pilot stage such as Browns Range, which opened its pilot plant in July 2018 to begin producing a xenotime-based heavy REE concentrate product (especially dysprosium, terbium),” the report said. “Other critical mineral production could be secured through additional separation and marketing of products from existing mines or from smelters and refineries (e.g. indium, gallium and germanium from zinc refineries, gallium from alumina refineries).”

However, the industry will also need to invest in research if it is going to make the most of these new mining opportunities.

“In the short term recommendations include: Improving the critical minerals knowledge base, improving geochemical association models, improving estimation of production costs, and undertaking consumer and supplier mineral criticality assessments for Australia,” the report said. “In the medium term: Undertaking critical mineral systems analysis, modelling supply scenarios, increasing awareness of critical minerals opportunities for smelters/refineries, improving understanding of the metallurgical behaviour of critical minerals during ore processing, develop methods to recover critical minerals from mine waste and improving processing technology. And in the long term: Conducting material flow analyses.”

The government hopes the report will help the domestic industry reaches its full potential as a global supplier of critical minerals.

“We also announced critical minerals projects would be prioritised in the latest industry funding round, which closes on March 28,” Canavan said. “By investing in critical minerals, we’re helping to grow our resources sector, driving the nation’s economy and creating more jobs.”

Click here to read the full report.

You may also read!

NRW staff roadworks

Contract awarded for part of $3.5B metal project

A mining, energy and civil infrastructure company has won a tender for part of a $3.5 billion metal project

Read More...
Matt Canavan start Adani election win

‘High-vis revolution’ across mining regions decided the election says Senator

A politician who is advocating for a $21 billion coal project has thanked mine workers and their families for

Read More...
Bowen basin project offers Sedgman careers

$1B approved Bowen Basin mine will hire locals

A mining company’s $1 billion project has received the nod to start producing coal in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin,

Read More...

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu