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Australia, US partnership on critical minerals formalised

Australia, US partnership on critical minerals formalised

Australia and the United States have formalised their partnership on developing both nations’ critical mineral assets, with a project agreement signed today by Geoscience Australia and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The signing paves the way for both nations to work more closely on understanding each country’s geological resource potential for critical minerals, including rare earth elements, and developing a pathway to supply arrangements.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said it was the beginning of a strong new partnership which would benefit both nations.

“This is a partnership that will deliver opportunity and security to both nations,” Minister Canavan said.

“Growing global demand for critical minerals means there is huge scope for Australia to develop secure and stable supply chains to meet the growing demand for critical minerals in key economies such as the US.

“The US has a need for critical minerals and Australia’s abundant supplies makes us a reliable and secure international supplier of a wide range of those, including rare earth elements.

“Today’s signing follows a wealth of work by the Liberal National Government to grow our potential in the critical minerals market, following the announcement of our critical mineral partnership with the US in early 2018.

“Almost 12 months ago Geoscience Australia and the USGS signed a wide-ranging Letter of Intent to formalise our collaboration on critical minerals.

“Our Critical Minerals Strategy was released earlier this year to coordinate activities across government, promote investment and deliver the necessary infrastructure to bring new critical minerals projects into production.

“And just last month we released our Critical Minerals Supply Chain in the United States report, which reinforces the importance of Australia continuing to attract investment in high-value activities such as processing and manufacturing. 

“Our partnership with the US also supports the goals of our National Resources Statement.”

The new agreement focuses on joint critical mineral potential mapping and quantitative mineral assessments, determining geological controls on critical mineral distribution, and developing data analytics capability to understand supply and demand scenarios for developing the critical minerals pipeline.

The knowledge gained from this collaboration will:

  • Improve both countries’ understanding of their geological resource potential for critical minerals, including rare earth elements, and contribute to a robust evidence base for global supply potential
  • Better identify and close critical minerals knowledge gaps in Australia’s critical minerals understanding
  • Help Australia understand future trends and match resource potential to international demand
  • Fast track innovation in the critical minerals sector, including development of online decision support tools with full data and decision process transparency.

Critical minerals are essential for the production of high-tech, aerospace, defence, renewable energy, agricultural, automotive and telecommunications technologies, and are found in everyday items such as lithium-ion batteries which power laptops and smartphones.

Senator the Hon Matt Canavan Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Media Release, 19 Nov 2019

Funding for Women’s Leadership Development Available

Women and Leadership Australia have funding is available to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s science sector. 

The initiative is providing women with grants of between $2,000 and $7,000 to enable participation in one of three programs that cover such things as reinforcing resilience and wellbeing, engaging with challenge and conflict, creating future focus, leading authentically and driving performance.

The scholarship funding is provided with the specific intent of providing powerful and effective development opportunities for science sector women, but has to be allocated by the end of 2019.

Expressions of Interest 

Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to 6th December: www.wla.edu.au/funding.html

36th IGC Geohost Program

The organisers of next year’s 36th International Geological Congress to be held in New Delhi have announced a geohost program for early career geoscientists.

The program provides an opportunity for up to 1,000 applicants to have their travel and registration for the congress covered by a sponsorship. Scan the QR code in the image below or visit the 36th IGC website for full details.

Applications close 15th November so act now!

Geoscientist employment improves in Q3

Australian geoscientist employment improved marginally in the third quarter of 2019.

The latest AIG Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey revealed that unemployment amongst Australian. geoscientists fell to 7.4% at the end of September, down from 9.3% at the end of July. The underemployment rate also fell to 14.1%, from 14.9% for the same period.

The survey results continue a gradually improving trend evident since March 2016, but the rate of improvement appears to have slowed since March 2018.

The survey results are currently being analysed and detailed results will be released in the next few days.

Exploration Radio

Two new podcast episodes are now available!

One of the main non-technical challenges in mineral exploration is getting investment. Overwhelmingly, companies seem to favour becoming a publicly listed company on a stock exchange to raise funds. The challenge there is how to effectively engage a largely uninformed investor base and retain them over the long term. Maybe we would be better off with a private funding model for early stage exploration – similar to venture capital firms funding startups. Irrespective of how we get funding, we need to remember to run exploration like a business.

Tony Manini is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of a private equity firm called EMR Capital. 

We often suffer from a time lag between acquiring data and using it to make a decision. If only we could get the data quicker, we would be so much better at what we do. Maybe this explains our obsession in developing technology that provides us data in real time. But we are forgetting something. It is not about getting the data quicker, it is about being able to make better decisions faster. Like the petroleum industry, we want real time “answer products” – not just real time data.

In this episode, we are joined by Michelle Carey from IMDEX and Marcus Lake from Olympus, two companies that are at the forefront of developing technology to assist with real time decision making.

AIG is a proud sponsor of Exploration Radio. Access the podcasts using your favourite podcasting application or via the Exploration Radio website.

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