Rurika Imahashi of Nikkei Asia reports that Australia is doubling its funding to produce a stronger supply chain in order to reduce its reliance for critical minerals on China. He writes:
Australia will expand financing for the critical minerals sector by 2 billion Australian dollars ($1.26 billion), Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Wednesday, doubling its funding as the country looks to reduce reliance on China.
Canberra created the AU$2 billion Critical Minerals Facility in 2021 to finance mining and processing projects by businesses. The government will double the money for this facility, which helps Australia provide materials tied to clean energy technologies but which are vulnerable to supply chain risks.
Australia is a major producer of lithium, cobalt and rare earth ores. But when it comes to refining them, the country trails China on both the technological and cost fronts.
Australia seeks to attract foreign investment for strengthening the nation’s supply chain.
“This will drive investment into the sector and deliver benefits, both domestically but also globally with our partners,” Albanese said at a news conference Tuesday in Washington during his visit to the U.S.
Albanese will be in the U.S. through Thursday, and critical minerals are high on the agenda. […]
“We’ve allowed ourselves to become vulnerable by being overly dependent on one or two countries or companies around the world,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters Tuesday in Washington after speaking with Albanese, “and as a result, extremely vulnerable to the harm that comes from these supply chain disruptions.”
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