Another barrier removed for critical minerals and metals products

Published: 9 Dec 2021

Released by: Deputy Premier


The NSW Government will make it easier for exploration companies to search for critical minerals and produce high-tech metals projects to drive the development of new technologies.

The Mineral Allocation Areas will be removed as a key plank of the Government’s Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy, aimed at driving future investment in the sector and establishing NSW as a global leader.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Resources Paul Toole said the decision to remove Mineral Allocation Areas for Group 1 minerals such as copper, cobalt and zirconium means explorers can peg new ground and make new discoveries.

“We know we have the critical minerals, metals and rare earths that are going to be crucial to our future technologies such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace, ag-tech and renewables and now we’re making them easier to get out of the ground,” Mr Toole said.

“Early this year we called on expressions of interest for operators to explore for these kinds of minerals in the Mineral Allocation Areas of Dubbo, Forbes, Mundi and north and south Cobar and we received a fantastic response.

“This land has been locked up for the government to collect data, but now we are opening it up so that we can further support these vital projects and I know industry will be really excited to start exploring further afield.” 

Mr Toole said the Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy, which includes the establishment of an Australian-first Critical Minerals Hub in the Central West, will help to shape a new and vibrant future for regional communities.

“We have the Strategy, the Hub and we’ve lifted these Mineral Allocation Areas, providing explorers and investors with greater confidence that we are serious about promoting the growth of this sector," Mr Toole said.

“That not only means jobs in new regional projects but broader economic benefits from shoring up supply chains, as minerals are extracted, processed and then used by major sectors within Special Activation Precincts and in building the infrastructure required for our Renewable Energy Zones.

“It’s another piece of the puzzle in the NSW Government’s plan to diversify what we have to offer on a global scale, and to help make regional communities in this state even greater places to live, work, play and invest.”

Read more about the Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy

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