The Australian Government has approved A$50m ($34m) of grants for six critical projects to accelerate the development of the critical minerals resources industry.

The grants are expected to support over 500 new jobs.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said: “Australia has the potential to become a major global supplier of critical minerals and rare earths, which will be essential to help Australia and the world transition to low-emissions technology and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

The grants are expected to expedite early and mid-stage projects, as well as boost new investment in the processing and manufacturing capabilities as the country develops its minerals sector.

King added: “Australia has vast reserves of critical minerals which are crucial to batteries and electric vehicles, as well as the medical equipment production, defence, aerospace, automotive and agritech industries. These junior projects, should they be successful in scaling up to full production, will help diversify global critical minerals supply chains.”

The six successful grant recipients are Alpha HPA, Cobalt Blue Holdings, EQ Resources, Global Advanced Metals, Lava Blue and Mineral Commodities.

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By GlobalData

Alpha HPA has secured a A$15.5m grant for its ‘HPA First’ Product Expansion Project.

This project will see new capabilities added to the aluminium chemical plant under construction near Gladstone, Queensland.

The project will manufacture materials to cater to the lithium-ion battery and synthetic sapphire markets.

Cobalt Blue Holdings has received a A$15m grant, which will help the company to accelerate carrying out a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Broken Hill Cobalt project.

This grant will help to undertake final engineering designs and drilling for increased resource definition to manufacture intermediate and battery-ready cobalt products.

A A$6m grant has been given to EQ Resources for the production of tungsten via mine waste recovery, in addition to reactivating open-pit mining in Mount Carbine, Queensland. Tungsten will be used in metal alloys for defence, transport and other applications.

Global Advanced Metals was awarded a A$4m grant for a tantalum and tin recovery plant at Greenbushes in Western Australia. This grant will help the company in boosting the production volume of tantalum.

Lava Blue received a grant of up to A$5.24m for its project to build modular re-processing technology to recover alumina, magnesium and other critical minerals from vanadium mine waste.

Mineral Commodities has become a recipient of a A$3.94m grant for developing an integrated graphite ore-to-battery anodes business based in Munglinup, Western Australia to produce battery-grade graphite.

Besides China, Australia is the biggest producer of rare earths in the world, reported Reuters.  

Australia is injecting money to boost its procurement of critical minerals.