EU and Australia sign partnership on sustainable critical and strategic minerals

The EU and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on sustainable critical and strategic minerals. This agreement was endorsed by EU representatives Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, and Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, alongside Australian Resources and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King, and Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell.

The partnership aims to achieve mutual benefits, particularly aiding the EU in diversifying its supply of materials essential for green and digital transitions while supporting Australia's critical minerals sector. The cooperation spans the entire minerals value chain, including exploration, extraction, processing, refining, recycling, and managing extractive waste.

The partnership will focus on joint projects within the EU and Australia, and also in other mutually beneficial regions, emphasizing environmental sustainability and community benefits. It encourages the use of innovative and digital mining technologies.

Key cooperation areas include:

  1. Integration of sustainable raw materials value chains through networking, joint ventures, and new business models to promote trade and investment linkages.
  2. Research and innovation to improve knowledge and reduce environmental impacts.
  3. Promotion of high environmental, social, and governance standards, ensuring worker safety and sustainable production.

This MoU establishes a framework for secure and sustainable mineral supply chains supporting clean energy, digital transitions, and sectors like defense and aerospace. The EU leverages its extensive network of 74 trade agreements, including ongoing negotiations with Australia, to enhance economic resilience and diversify supply chains.

Next steps involve developing a concrete action roadmap to implement the partnership over the next six months. This MoU aligns with the EU’s broader strategy of forming global partnerships to secure critical raw materials necessary for green and digital transitions, with similar agreements already established with several other countries.

Read th original press release here.

Document Details and Download

Date published
28 May 2024
Publisher (Company, Organisation)
European Commission

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