Australia is one of many countries dependent on a range of critical minerals used every day to manufacture everything from the smallest semi-conductor chip to the largest aeroplane ever built, the Globe Master.
Every high technology device is manufactured with rare earths: smart phones, digital cameras, computer hard drives, fluorescent and LED lights, flat screen televisions, computer monitors, electronic displays, and more.
With the world’s energy supply transitioning to renewables to reach net-zero carbon emissions, the demand for rare earths is set to explode. For example, global demand for lithium and graphite, used for the manufacture of electric vehicles, is set to increase by 4000 per cent over the next two decades. Every modern business is going to find it is reliant in some way on secure, sustainable supply chains of these immensely important resources.
Australia has an opportunity right now to contribute to the growth, sustainability and security of global supply chains and Queensland, rich in rare earths, is well positioned to not only lead the mining of these critical minerals but also build advanced manufacturing capability and capacity enabling greater economic diversity and prosperity.
With Queensland now Australia’s fastest growing tech hub and boasting Australia’s largest defence manufacturing footprint – Are rare earths the “Gold Rush” of the 21st Century?