The Need for Critical Metals Draws US, Australia Closer

The demand for critical minerals is growing globally as the adoption of renewable energy continues and technologies continue to advance. This need has drawn Australia and the United States closer, while widening the gap between other countries and China.

The mining sector has even major miners come together as the hunt for these minerals grows. For instance, Pilbara Minerals recently expressed interest in strengthening its relationship with the United States and making use of the incentives being offered by the federal government. Pilbara, a major lithium miner based in Australia, hopes to utilize America’s Inflation Reduction Act to its advantage. The mining company is also party to a partnership with Ganfeng Lithium Group, involving the construction of a plant to convert lithium outside China.

In a statement, Pilbara managing director Dale Henderson stated that the company was seeking new battery minerals out of China. Henderson noted that Pilbara was focused on ensuring that it had positioned itself well to take advantage of the benefits of these new markets, which would increase with the subsidies America was offering.

The United States and Australia have another deal that is focused on finding ways to monetize geological structures rich in critical minerals like rare earth metals. The American government’s trade finance agency, the Export-Import Bank, recently offered a multimillion-dollar interest letter to Australian Strategic Minerals to finance the designing and development of a critical minerals project located in the New South Wales state.

Following this announcement, Australian Strategic Minerals released a report revealing that it had awarded Bechtel, one of the largest construction and engineering companies in the United States, a contract to offer infrastructure and ore processing services. This move involving a major engineering company and a government financing agency puts an American stamp on the Dubbo project, which has spent decades evaluating ways to garner profits from its resources.

Ailie MacAdam, Bechtel Mining and Metals president, noted that this project was strategic in the critical minerals and rare earths sector.

The minerals located at the project site include precious rare earth metals such as praseodymium and neodymium; niobium, which is used in steel hardening; hafnium, which is used in control rods for nuclear reactors; zirconium, which is used in hydrogen fuel cells and jet engines; and tantalum, which is used in different electronics.

The Australia-United States critical minerals task force remains focused on taming Dubbo, a move whose success will harness this geological endowment to better benefit industries in America.

Closer home, enterprises such as First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCQB: FSTTF) are focused on extracting critical metals including tellurium in a bid to supply the growing North American demand for these metals as the green-energy transition gains momentum.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCQB: FSTTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/FSTTF

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