• Media Release

Australian rare earths and lithium projects set to transform the industry

The Minerals Council of Australia welcomes the Government’s announcement to underwrite support for two groundbreaking critical minerals projects, led by Arafura Resources and Liontown Resources.

Supporting these projects not only addresses the immediate need for diversification and security of supply chains but leverages Australia’s unparalleled resources and mining expertise.

Arafura Resources Nolans Project will be a combined rare earths mine and refinery. The project will pioneer rare earth separation technology in Australia, boosting local employment but also to placing Australia at the forefront of ethical and sustainable mining and processing of rare earths and critical minerals on a global scale.

The mine will produce magnet feed rare earths (NdPr), essential for wind turbines, electric vehicles, mobile phones, tablets, MRI machines, and robotics.

Enriched with world-class deposits, it is anticipated Arafura will supply approximately four per cent of the global demand for NdPr. This not only underscores the economic potential of the Northern Territory but highlights Australia’s role in supporting global technological and defence capabilities, with NdPr being integral for US defense manufacturers, among other international stakeholders.

Liontown’s Kathleen Valley Lithium Project marks a new era for Australia’s lithium production capabilities. This project will create over 900 jobs and is on track to produce about 500kt of spodumene concentrate annually.

This critical raw material is indispensable for battery manufacturing, with Liontown already securing offtake agreements with global automakers Tesla and Ford. The project is set to become one of the nation’s largest lithium mines and highlights Western Australia’s pivotal role in the emerging battery minerals market.

With critical minerals essential to global economic development but geographically concentrated, Australia is well placed to extract and produce these high performance minerals.

To date, Australia has pioneered new advances in extractive technologies, processing ores into metals and is ideally placed to lead the growth, diversity and new applications of critical minerals globally.

As the world moves swiftly to secure reliable sources of critical minerals, support for these projects is timely and strategic, ensuring that Australia continues to strengthen its position as a key player in the global transition to clean energy and advanced technological development.

The Minerals Council of Australia is committed to fostering the continued success of Australia’s mining and minerals processing industry.