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Can Australia break China’s monopoly on critical minerals?

The Economist writes about Australia’s efforts to break China’s critical mineral monopoly.

The C3 Take
  • China currently supplies 90% of the world’s rare earth minerals, which is forcing resource-rich countries like Australia to work to diversify its supply chain.
  • Australia is committing over $2 billion to build out mining infrastructure and fund early-stage critical mineral startups.
  • Allies of Australia, like America and South Korea, are working with the country to buy Australia’s rare earths through free trade agreements.

“Mineral-related initiatives are coming in droves. China’s dominance, says Australia’s resources minister, Madeleine King, is a ‘strategic challenge.’ On June 20th her government unveiled a critical-minerals strategy to address it. Australia is the biggest producer of lithium, the third-biggest producer of cobalt and fourth-biggest of rare earths—yet a processing minnow. It aims to become, by 2030, ‘a globally significant’ producer of processed critical minerals. It can ‘play its part in making sure we build secure supply chains’, says Ms King.”

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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