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The Federal Government’s 2024-25 Budget has been released and includes investment to help Australia capitalise on the opportunities provided by its critical minerals and resources. 

Budget funding to the mining and resources sector includes:

  • $7 billion over eleven years from 2023-24 to the new Critical Minerals Production Tax Incentive, which will give a ten per cent refundable tax offset for the eligible costs of processing critical minerals in Australia
  • A range of investments aimed at capitalising on Australia’s critical minerals and the global clean energy transition, including $10.2 million to establish the Critical Minerals National Productivity Initiative and $1 million for a pilot program to strengthen the capabilities of Australia’s critical minerals sector to detect, prevent and mitigate foreign interference
  • $566.1 million over ten years from 2024-25 to advance understanding of Australia’s critical minerals, strategic materials and other resources necessary for net zero transition through a Resourcing Australia’s Prosperity program that will enable Geoscience Australia to map the whole of onshore Australia by 2060
  • $207.4 million over five years from 2023-24, then $38.2 million per year ongoing to continue the ongoing partnership with the US Geological Survey in the Landsat Next satellite project, which secures access to land imaging data to inform mining, agriculture, and emergency response
  • $6.8 million over two years from 2024-25 to grow Australia’s oil and gas decommissioning industry through the upcoming Roadmap for Establishing a Decommissioning Industry in Australia, expected to help the Department of Industry, Sciences and Resources address barriers to growth in Australia’s decommissioning industry

Federal Minister for Resources, Madeleine King, said, “The 2024-25 Budget supports the further development of Australia’s rich endowment in critical minerals, while investing in programs for downstream processing and manufacturing technologies needed to help the world lower emissions.

“A Future Made in Australia ensures Australia can secure much needed investment in critical minerals projects, to secure jobs and opportunities for current and future generations and make Australia a renewable energy superpower.

“The Federal Government will continue to support our resources industries and the more than 300,000 Australian men and women who work in the sector, to deliver a better future for our nation and our regions.”

Industry response

Industry associations have welcomed the Budget funding allocated to the sector as validation of the importance of Australia’s resources sector. 

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’ (AMEC) Chief Executive, Warren Pearce, said, “A Critical Minerals Production Tax Incentive is the cornerstone of the Future Made in Australia strategy and sends a clear message to Australians and the world that Australia means business.

“Australia is already so much more than a dig and ship country. This announcement strengthens the economics to ensure we can value-add to our critical minerals, which are highly sought after across the globe.

“With the world positioning itself for the future net-zero economy, this policy setting gets us back in the game.”

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia (CME)’s CEO, Rebecca Tomkinson, said, “These significant investments recognise the central role our resources will continue to play in our economy and future prosperity.

“However, we need assurances that our sector, which is contributing so much to the state and national economies, is not hamstrung by unintended consequences from reforms in the environmental approvals and industrial relations space.

“The government needs to ensure policies are formed on the bedrock of timely and efficient approvals and competitive fiscal and policy settings across energy, industrial relations and enabling infrastructure.”

The Minerals Council of Australia’s CEO, Tania Constable, said, “With the right settings in place, the industry can continue to propel the economy forward.

“Ms King has delivered significant measures for the industry on exploration, foreign investment, subsidies and common user infrastructure that will help improve the minerals industry’s investment and competitiveness and deliver for Australian communities.

“That said, overall government must do more to improve Australia’s global competitiveness and attract much needed investment.”

The Budget was also welcomed by the Western Australian Government.

Western Australian Premier, Roger Cook, said, “I congratulate the Federal Government for its foresight and vision to assist Western Australia in becoming a world leader in the downstream processing of critical minerals and production of renewable hydrogen that will be essential in transitioning the globe to a low-carbon economy.

“These commitments represent a big vote of confidence in the future of Western Australia’s powerhouse resources sector, and acknowledge its ongoing importance to the national economy.”

Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum, David Michael, said, “These are significant investments in the future of Western Australia and Australia’s aspirations to become a major global player in the downstream processing of critical minerals.

“I look forward to working with my Federal counterpart Ms King towards securing the balance of funds required for the development of a Critical Minerals Advanced Processing (CMAP) facility.”

Image credit: TM creations/Shutterstock.com.

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