There is no question that COVID-19 has brought with it many challenges to business. But those challenges are being met head on in Australia.
“Through this past year, the mining and exploration industry has received incredible support from all Australian governments, state, territory and commonwealth,” noted Association of Mining and Exploration Companies Chief Executive Officer Warren Pearce. “In 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19, Australia has seen record production and exports, and near record levels of mineral exploration and mineral investment. These achievements have been made possible by the commitment of industry and government to work together.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government is focused on continuing to rebuild and grow the economy, with manufacturing playing a key role in the COVID-19 recovery.
Australia aims to build a sophisticated manufacturing industry from its vast critical minerals resources in a move toward maintaining national sovereignty and securing vital technological supply chains.
Thus, the Morrison government has released the Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing roadmap, which would leverage Australia’s world-leading critical minerals and resources sector to create more jobs and economic opportunities for manufacturing businesses over the next 10 years.
“Australia will have a strategic critical minerals processing industry that captures significant additional value, strengthens our global position downstream from our resource endowments and underpins a range of advanced manufacturing opportunities,” said the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
The Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing roadmap is central to the country’s National Economic Recovery Plan. Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said it also complements the government’s Critical Minerals Strategy. “The government is committed to bringing on new supplies of critical minerals and developing this emerging sector to meet growing global demand,” he said. “Developing our critical minerals processing capability will ensure Australian companies can move down the value chain, getting greater value out of the products they produce.”
These initiatives are a welcome respite from the negative news of the past year. It is time to move forward.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor