Academy welcomes priority investment in critical minerals projects

February 13, 2019

The Australian Academy of Science has welcomed the Australian Government’s measure to prioritise funding for critical minerals projects in the next round of the Cooperative Research Centres Project (CRC-P) Grants to help grow the resource sector.

The CRC-P program was identified as a useful mechanism to undertake the research and technology development needed to support the exploration of critical minerals in the UNCOVER Roadmap.

The UNCOVER Roadmap is a blueprint launched by the Academy and AMIRA International in August 2017 to unlock Australia’s enormous potential mineral wealth.

The Roadmap, supported by 53 organisations coordinated by AMIRA International, is based on the vision of the UNCOVER AUSTRALIA initiative, established by the Australian Academy of Science in 2012.

The UNCOVER AUSTRALIA initiative identifies what is required to transform Australia’s ability to find non-bulk mineral resources such as copper and gold under the majority of Australia’s landmass.

Academy Council Member Professor Sue O’Reilly AM said that Australia is thought to be rich in renewable energy minerals such as copper, cobalt and rare earth metals, but that these can’t be easily found using conventional exploration approaches.

“Demand for cobalt just from the electric vehicle industry is expected to exceed global supply within just a few years,” said Professor O’Reilly.

“Investments in research and development that will help find these metals will be enormously beneficial to Australia with the potential to create jobs, reduce emissions and revitalise regional communities.”

Academy President Professor Shine AC congratulated the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology the Hon Karen Andrews and the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia the Hon Matthew Canavan for prioritising investment in this area.

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