Defence Minister Linda Reynolds says access to rare earths minerals has become an issue of strategic importance for much of the western world, along with the Pacific allies of South Korea and Japan.
Following revelations Australia was working with the United States to secure a supply of the minerals and reduce Chinese dominance, Senator Reynolds confirmed there had been discussions at senior security levels of government “for some time”.
“There is increasing awareness globally on the importance of strategic metals and rare earth and Australia has been having discussions. “My colleagues, my ministerial colleagues have been looking at this for some time.
“Given the importance of a lot of these minerals for new energy, for batteries, for new technologies it’s a matter of strategic importance both for Australia and the United States and right across Europe, Korea and Japan.
“We’re looking at ways of ensuring those supplies and making sure that all who need access to them can get access to them.” Minerals including rare earths, lithium, copper and cobalt are critical in the advanced manufacturing sector, including defence electronics, batteries, electric vehicles and wind turbines.
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