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Australia plans rare earths boost to fight China 'dominance'

Bloomberg3/16/2022 01:44 PM GMT+08  • 3 min read
Australia plans rare earths boost to fight China 'dominance'
The US and its allies have been concerned for years about China’s attempt to control rare earths markets
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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce funding for rare earths refining on Wednesday, including vital components for high-tech batteries, as the nation works with its US ally to diversify sources of the important minerals away from China.

Campaigning in Western Australia ahead of a federal election due by May 21, Morrison will announce A$243 million ($175 million) for four new projects, including a new nickel manganese cobalt battery material refinery hub in the Kalgoorie region and a vanadium refinery project led by Australian Vanadium.

The funding is part of a growing push by Morrison and his government to encourage self-reliance in important supply chains. In the announcement, Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said while Australia had some of the world’s largest reserves of rare earths, China dominated around 70% to 80% of the industry globally.

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