Australia Allocates AU$566.1 Million for Critical Minerals Exploration

In a bid aimed at fortifying Australia’s position as a global leader in critical minerals and renewable energy, the Albanese government has announced a 10 year, AU$566.1 million investment into critical minerals exploration.

“There is no nation on earth better placed than Australia to achieve our goal of moving toward a clean energy future,” remarked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a Wednesday (May 8) press release.

“This investment highlights my Government’s commitment to building a secure and sustainable future for all Australians. By investing significantly in geoscience, we can boost our progress towards net zero,” he added.

The funding will be channelled into delivering essential data, maps and tools for the resource industry in order to aid in the identification of new mineral deposits and energy sources.

Geoscience Australia, a government agency, will spearhead the effort to deploy top geoscientists to fully map Australian resources and chart a course for future exploration endeavours.

The investment will also fund Resourcing Australia’s Prosperity for 35 years, and will extend its mapping efforts to offshore areas for the first time, identifying sites for carbon capture and storage, as well as clean hydrogen projects.


“The Albanese Government has put the resources industry at the heart of its policy making because it knows a strong resources sector means a strong Australia,” said Madeleine King, minister for resources.

“The Albanese Government has put the resources industry at the heart of its policy making because it knows a strong resources sector means a strong Australia,” she further commented.

The initiative aims to stimulate exploration activity across Australia, where 65 companies are already exploring across 569 tenements, covering over 290,000 square kilometres of the country.

Deloitte Access Economics estimates that existing public pre-competitive geoscience has supported AU$76 billion of value added to the Australian economy and 80,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the 2021/2022 period alone.

AMEC welcomes Australian resource sector funds

In its own press release, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) welcomed the Albanese government’s AU$566.1 million investment in the country’s resource sector.

“We are delighted to see the Federal Government re-invest in the critical and highly successful program, extending it out to the end of the decade,” said AMEC Chief Executive Warren Pearce. “Some 80 per cent of Australia is unexplored. This program has the potential to open new mineral jurisdictions and unlock immense new mineral wealth for Australia.”

In its federal budget submission for the 2024/2025 period, AMEC outlined three key priorities: the expansion of the Exploring for the Future Program, the retention of the Diesel Fuel Credit and the introduction of a 10 percent production tax credit. Two out of three of those points have now been achieved.

Australia’s critical minerals future

The Australian government identified 31 resource commodities as critical minerals in its February 2024 list.

The selections were made based on the country’s geological potential and global technology needs, particularly those of key partner countries like the US, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK.

Australia’s government is also keeping a close eye on increasing global demand for key resources. In 2022, the nation maintained its position as the world’s leading lithium producer, contributing 52 percent of global production.

Additionally, it ranked among the top five producers for cobalt, manganese ore, rare earths, rutile, tantalum and zircon.

To meet growing demand, Australia’s resource industry has ramped up exploration and resource definition efforts. Economic inventories for 13 critical minerals saw notable increases in 2022, including manganese, platinum-group elements, rare earths and nickel, among others.

Looking ahead, the country remains committed to supporting the development of its critical minerals sector, with ongoing initiatives to identify and advance new projects.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Giann Liguid, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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