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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”.

Defining Criticality

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.

Critical Minerals

Minerals necessary for the industrial objectives of a country or company. Most of these have supply chain vulnerabilities.

Technology Metals

Metals that are necessary to make new technology work. No supply chain vulnerabilities.

Strategic Minerals

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.


26 Metals & Minerals

Updated in 2022.


31 Metals & Minerals

Updated in 2021.

European Union

30 Metals & Minerals

Updated in 2020.


34 Metals & Minerals

Published in 2020.

United States of America

50 Metals & Minerals

Updated in 2022.

United Kingdom

18 Metals & Minerals

Published in 2022.

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