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Critical decision for critical mineral

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) said today’s announcement adding nickel to the Australian Critical Minerals List was a positive step, but more actions were needed.

CME Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Tomkinson, said the addition of nickel, bauxite-alumina, zinc, copper and molybdenum were key recommendations in CME’s submission to last year’s review of the Critical Minerals List.

“Adding nickel to the Critical Minerals List is something that CME has long advocated for and it’s encouraging to see a level of agility by the Australian Government in responding to current challenging market conditions,” Ms Tomkinson said.

“Access for nickel projects to bid for financial support under the Critical Minerals Facility is welcome news.

“However, we also need action from state and federal governments to deliver the settings required for a resilient and competitive critical minerals industry. 

“These are measure we have long been calling for such as turnkey industrial land, investment in productive infrastructure and competitive fiscal settings.”

Ms Tomkinson said the Australian Government now needed the follow-up action of progressing other key recommendations from CME and industry to remove a lack of efficiency, timeliness and certainty in regulatory approvals.

She added that moves that relieved pressure on capital or operating costs (such as capital grants or production tax credits) were much needed next steps to support an industry that provides high quality, ESG-compliant resources the world needs for the energy transition.

“We also need the Australian Government to work with our trading partners on the development of price and ESG transparency in critical and battery minerals markets.”