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Value of critical and strategic minerals list – inclusive or elusive?

Revisions to the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals List, announced today, are being evaluated by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) to determine their impact and value to industry.

CME Chief Executive, Rebecca Tomkinson, said updates to the Critical Minerals List – which identifies minerals required for global emissions reduction, advanced manufacturing and defence – were timely but the value proposition of being on the list was still unclear.

“CME has advocated to the Australian Government for the inclusion of key minerals to the list so they are covered under the Australian Critical Minerals Strategy 2023-2030 and recognised for their role in achieving 2030 emissions reduction targets,” said Ms Tomkinson.

“The global scale of the energy transition means demand for WA’s resources is at a record high, but defining the value of being on the critical minerals list has been elusive.

“Over half of Australia’s critical minerals projects are in WA, so we would welcome more detail on how the list will support the Critical Minerals Strategy. Clearer pathways for critical minerals projects to access financial incentives and investment support mechanisms would be a strong message of support from government.”

Ms Tomkinson said while the full range of benefits of being on the list were yet to be detailed by government, the creation of a secondary list for minerals of strategic importance may go some way to recognise the additional minerals required to support the energy transition.

“CME’s submission called for copper, nickel, bauxite-alumina, zinc and molybdenum to be included on the list. Molybdenum was among the five new minerals added to the primary list,” she said.

Ms Tomkinson said she hoped to see more information on how the inclusion of copper, nickel, zinc and aluminium on the strategic minerals list would unlock benefits to industry and the energy transition.

“Whether a mineral is on the primary or secondary list, project proponents need certainty to make investment decisions. What we need now is a commitment to clarity and a material change in how the government looks at its own efficiencies to help the industry achieve energy transition targets,” she said.

<ENDS> Media contact: Natasha Mutch,