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About critical minerals

Critical Minerals (also known as new economy minerals) are a range of essential metals and minerals used in emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, renewable energy products, low-emission power sources, consumer devices, and products for the medical, defence and scientific research sectors.

The International Energy Agency estimates demand for critical minerals will increase, tripling under current global measures to reduce emissions, and increasing by up to 6 times if efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 escalate.

To develop critical mineral projects, the government is investing in exploration activities to improve scientific understanding and supply the valuable geoscience data needed by industry to help locate and define deposits for future production.

Listen to our podcast about critical minerals (also referred to as new economy minerals)

What role will Queensland play?

For more than a century, Queensland has enjoyed strong economic growth thanks to our booming resources and export industry, especially since the discovery of gold at Gympie in 1867. Our mining and resources sector significantly contributes to our economy as a major employer across Queensland, especially in regional areas, and a driver of exports and economic growth.

Queensland’s minerals provinces have long been the lifeblood of Australia’s resource sector with a proud history in mining, strengthened by an ability to adjust to changing market demands. This is supported by a vital and growing supply chain that links to global markets via road, rail, air and sea.

Queensland is in a prime position to use these minerals to help shift to a decarbonised economy, creating new revenue streams to benefit our communities and regions.

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Last reviewed: 26 March 2023