Importance of Critical Minerals
Critical minerals underpin the foundation of the modern world. Green technologies such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectric plants, or hydrogen-based technologies cannot be built without raw materials. Critical minerals are necessary for many key industries, including agriculture, energy, and defence.
Industries Reliant on Critical Minerals
Science & Innovation
What are Critical Minerals?
Critical minerals is an umbrella terminology that encompasses metals and minerals deemed essential to an industry, a nation's goals or security.
Geoscience Australia defines a critical mineral as “a mineral or element (solid, liquid or gas) that is essential for modern technology and cannot be easily substituted with a different mineral AND there is a risk that the supply of that mineral could be disrupted”.
We recognise that the criticality of a metal or mineral can shift quickly and that it is defined differently by industry, governments and academia. Criticality can vary across end-user industries, and geographic regions and can be influenced by a nation's industrial and economic strategies. Hence, the Critical Minerals Association Australia splits critical minerals into three fluid and adaptive categories.
Minerals necessary for the industrial objectives of a country or company. Most of these have supply chain vulnerabilities.
Metals that are necessary to make new technology work. No supply chain vulnerabilities.
Minerals with diplomatic or defence importance.
Critical Minerals Lists
Several nations, including the US, Canada, and the UK have published Critical Mineral Lists that reflect what metals and minerals are critical to those Governments.