Australia, US, Canada launch 'critical minerals' map to support batteries, renewables

by Margaret Lau
Online portal shows occurrence of critical minerals such as cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements. Image: Geoscience Australia
Australia, the US and Canada today teamed up to launch an online ‘critical minerals’ map, aimed at strengthening supply chains in support of key manufacturing sectors such as batteries and wind turbines.

The Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative is a partnership between Geoscience Australia, the US Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada and is said to contain the "world’s largest dataset of critical minerals in and around ore deposits”.

The online portal shows the occurrence of critical minerals such as cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements, highlighting concentrations of critical minerals in more than 7,000 mineral samples from 60 countries, mostly from Australia, the US and Canada.

Geoscience Australia’s minerals energy and groundwater division chief, Dr Andrew Heap, said the portal would highlight Australia’s rich mineral resources, and underline emerging opportunities for the Australian resources sector.

'Global demand'

"Critical minerals are central to the economic and national security of Australia and its partners, but their distribution in ore deposits is poorly understood,” Heap said.

"The dataset in the online portal will help Australia and our partner nations secure our supply chains as global demand for critical minerals accelerates.”

The project was set up in December 2019, following US-Australia talks to boost reliable supplies of critical minerals, which the partners said "are critical components in everything from electric vehicle batteries and wind turbines to fighter jets”.

Australia’s federal minister for resources, water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the online portal can be used by governments to identify options to diversify their sources of critical minerals, and by industry to inform and target their exploration strategies.

Click on the link below to visit the online portal

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