Recently, India and Australia decided to strengthen their partnership in the field of projects and supply chains for critical minerals.
- Australia confirmed that it would commit USD 5.8 million to the three-year India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership.
- They are elements that are the building blocks of essential modern-day technologies and are at risk of supply chain disruptions.
- These minerals are now used everywhere from making mobile phones, and computers to batteries, electric vehicles (EV) and green technologies like solar panels and wind turbines.
- As countries around the world scale up their transition toward clean energy and a digital economy, these critical resources are key to the ecosystem that fuels this change.
- These supply risks exist due to rare availability, growing demand and complex processing value chain.
What is the Significance of India Australia Partnership?
- Reduction in Emissions & Essential Demand: Australia has the resources to help India fulfil its ambitions to lower emissions and meet the growing demand for critical minerals to help India’s space and defence industries, and the manufacture of solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles.
- Expanding Global Trade: India’s strong interest and support for a bilateral partnership will help advance critical minerals projects in Australia while diversifying global supply chains.
- The Path to Achieve Clean Energy: India is among the fastest-growing economies in the world and there is huge scope for collaboration in the mineral sector. Technology transfer, knowledge-sharing and investment in critical minerals like lithium and cobalt are strategic to achieving clean energy ambitions.
China as a threat:
- Largest Producer: As per the 2019 US Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries report, China is the world’s largest producer of 16 critical minerals.
- The level of concentration is even higher for processing operations, where China has a strong presence across the board. China’s share of refining is around 35% for nickel, 50-70% for lithium and cobalt, and nearly 90% for rare earth elements.
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