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India-Australia Critical Minerals Partnership eyes 5 Lithium, Cobalt projects

Source: PIB
India and Australia have reached a major milestone in working towards investment in critical minerals projects to develop supply chains between the two countries. The countries have also agreed to deepen cooperation and extend their existing commitments to the India- Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership.

The Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King held bilateral talks last Friday. Accordingly, the partnership has identified five target projects including two lithium and three cobalt projects, on which the countries may invest in the coming years. 

It is to be noted that Australia produces almost half of the world's lithium, and is also the second-largest producer of cobalt and the fourth-largest producer of rare earths. With the expected increase in global demand for these minerals for use in battery and chip manufacturing meant for various applications including EVs over the next three decades, this partnership is expected to go a long way in securing mutually beneficial critical mineral supply chains.

RELATED: India finds 5.9 million tons of Lithium reserves in Reasi district of J&K

Investments under the partnership will seek to build new supply chains underpinned by critical minerals processed in Australia, that will help India's plans to lower emissions from its electricity network and become a global manufacturing hub, including for electric vehicles.

"The partnership between India's KABIL and CMO Australia has reached the first mile stone in a short span of one year from signing of the MoU in March 2022 between both the organizations", observed Minister Joshi.

Joshi visited Western Australia in 2022, and toured Tianqi Lithium Energy's Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Refinery. The partnership on critical minerals has taken further momentum after the visit of Minister Joshi to Western Australia, according to the official press statement. 

Minister King commented, "India's goals to lower carbon emissions and boost electric vehicle production presents great opportunities and prospects for Australia's critical minerals sector, for renewable exports and for building stronger supply chains." 

"Working together, both the nations are committed to reduce emissions, guarantee energy security and diversify global markets for critical minerals and clean technologies", added the Minister.

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