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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
Program Area
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Downstream Processing Technology
Project Period
2022 - 2022

The Challenge

The mining industry requires a specific innovation focus as it is typified by high capital investment and slow clock speed. It has different constraints and objectives than the faster cycle industries. This is particularly the case with innovation in new types of requirements for metals.

New demand for metals including rapidly changing technical requirements for:

  • digital equipment
  • renewable energy builds
  • chemical processing advancements
  • electrification of industry

How can the mining industry accelerate the supply of critical minerals to meet increasing metals demand from new technologies?

Key Findings

Need to promote Australia as a low risk critical mineral supplier:

  • Engagement from Australian businesses, senior government officials, trade delegations and NGOs with foreign investors.

Pursue cooperative arrangements with foreign investors:

  • The creation of alliances, forging of cooperative arrangements or trade agreements should be pursued with those foreign investors

(FIRB) process:

  • Reform targeted at streamlining the critical mineral investment review processes and increasing the flexibility of investment thresholds should be considered.

Provide direct project finance:

  • Continue and increase the provision of government-backed grants, incentives, and debt facilities to catalyse private co-investment.

Establish waste processing hubs:

  • Support the construction of centralised waste processing facilities.

Proposed Benefits to WA

The proposed State of Play solutions fit well with MRIWA’s priority Research Programs.

The study outputs are relevant to MRIWA decision making and analysis of opportunities. The insights could help accelerate priority research programs in Western Australia. Cooperative arrangements on research with Asian minerals institutions and the overseas processors can develop the maturity of Australian critical mineral processing.

The  opportunities outlined in the report apply to multiple commodities.  with a range industry participants. The overview given from the survey responses in the study will be an enabler for potential Critical Minerals projects. It identifies the needs of  building technical knowledge, targeting resources and looking at customers for investment in WA. The consideration of multiple technology solutions could also support a range of strategic investments in R&D to benefit Western Australia.

Keywords: Critical Minerals, Industry, Nickel, Lithium, Rare Earths, Cobalt, Platinum, Investment, State of Play

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Page was last reviewed 15 August 2023

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