Australia: Many Raw Materials, Many Hurdles

by | 16. Nov 2023 - 11:17 | Economy

The country will benefit from the boom in critical minerals if the right course is set, according to PwC.

Australia’s mineral wealth could create billions of dollars for the domestic economy and hundreds of thousands of jobs if the right decisions are made, according to a new industry report by management consultants PwC. One aspect is the simplification of regulations to accelerate projects involving critical minerals. At the same time, the industry needs better access to skilled workers. According to S&P Global, the shortage of skilled workers affects the mining industry not only in Australia but worldwide, partly because the industry suffers from an image problem among many young talents.

PwC attests that Australia has made some progress towards capitalizing on its critical mineral deposits but that international standards limit this progress and that it is important to act quickly and decisively. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of government initiatives, with the state of Western Australia recently allocating the equivalent of around 87 million US dollars to projects in raw materials processing, among others. The Australian Minister for Resources, Madeleine King, also regularly promotes international investment in the sector. According to King’s speech earlier this week, the development of the country’s gold, coal, iron ore, and gas industries was only made possible by this, and the same will apply to the critical minerals and rare earth industry.

The free trade agreement between the EU and Australia, which has been sought for many years, would have facilitated these investments, at least from a European perspective. However, this is off the table for the time being. The two sides could not reach an agreement at the end of October. The main bone of contention was the agricultural sector (we reported).

Photo: iStock/bennymarty

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