Grants and funding, Manufacturing News, Northern Territory, Uncategorised

Government investing $840m for NT rare earths project, bolstering renewable energy leadership

The Federal Government will provide $840 million to help deliver Australia’s first combined rare earths mine and refinery in the Northern Territory, creating local jobs and securing Australia’s position as a renewable energy superpower.

The refinery will create over 300 new jobs across the Northern Territory while also diversifying our critical minerals supply chain.

Prime minister Anthony Albanese said, “This will create local jobs and economic opportunities, helping Australian and Territory companies and workers capture more value from the game-changing critical minerals deposits we have here.

A first of its kind in Australia, the project is an ambitious step forward for our rare earths and critical minerals industry.

“This project is a major vote of confidence in the Northern Territory, which continues to punch above its weight in global trade,” said Albanese.

This ground-breaking investment will position Australia as a global leader in ethical and sustainable manufacturing of these minerals.

The rare earths mine and refinery will be operated by Australian mineral exploration company Arafura and is located 125 km north of Alice Springs.

Northern Territory chief minister Eva Lawle said,“Arafura’s project is an example of how this Government is attracting investment into our critical minerals sector that will significantly contribute to the Territory’s role in energy transition and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

During construction it will create over 200 jobs, with over 125 full time jobs ongoing, including the company’s stated ambition of securing 20 per cent local Indigenous employment.

“Backed by record levels of investment into exploration, the mining and processing of critical minerals is a priority opportunity for the Territory to create more work opportunities for Territorians,” said Lawle.

Rare earths are used to make powerful magnets, and are an essential component in renewable energy and defence technologies.

Electric vehicle motors, wind turbines, robotics and mobile phones are examples of the kinds of technologies that rely on rare earths.

The Government’s contribution will unlock further investment from international financiers and commercial banks, highlighting the value placed on this important investment.

Minister for trade and tourism Don Farrell said, “We have some of the largest deposits of critical minerals in the world and through this project, we’re encouraging more international partners like the Republic of Korea and Germany to invest in Australia and diversify global supply chains.”

Critical minerals are the building blocks for a clean energy future, and our Government has become a major investor and partner of this important sector, creating jobs and opportunities for more Australians.

Minister for resources and minister for Northern Australia Madeleine King said, “The combined funding from the Critical Minerals Facility and the NAIF will help Australia build downstream industries and support our goal to become a renewable energy superpower by 2030.

This project is possible due to the Federal Government’s commitment to a future made in Australia, which has seen the expansion of the Critical Minerals Facility and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to a combined $11 billion.

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