Australia’s Resources Minister Embarks on Asia Tour for Green Energy Partnership In an effort to bolster green energy initiatives and strengthen partnerships, Australia’s Resources Minister has embarked on a week-long trip to South Korea and Japan. The focus of the visit is to engage in discussions about gas exports and explore critical minerals opportunities. The Australian government released a “prospectus” featuring 52 investment-ready critical minerals projects, aiming to attract investments from allies. Australia, known for its abundant resources, seeks support in developing minerals crucial for green energy and susceptible to supply chain disruptions. These initiatives cover a wide range, including the processing of rare earths and the production of cobalt and nickel in mines and plants. Minister Madeleine King underlined the crucial role of Australia’s critical minerals in the worldwide shift toward sustainable energy. She highlighted, ‘Australia’s critical minerals play a pivotal role in the global energy transformation. But for us to make a real impact in transitioning to a more eco-friendly economy, we need investments to extract these minerals from the ground, process them locally, and manufacture the batteries, wind turbines, and solar panels essential for this shift to a lower-carbon lifestyle.” As part of her visit, Minister King is set to meet with Japan’s Trade Minister Ken Saito and South Korean Trade and Energy Minister Duk-geun Ahn. The discussions are expected to cover natural gas, considering the significant role both nations play as major customers of Australia’s gas exports. Speaking in Tokyo, Minister King emphasized Australia’s responsibility to contribute to the energy security of large economies like Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The call for investment comes against the backdrop of a global downturn in prices for electric vehicle battery materials like lithium and nickel. Slower-than-expected electric vehicle uptake and an influx of Indonesian nickel supply have impacted prices. Several Australian nickel projects, including part of BHP’s operations in Western Australia, have been affected, with more expected to be impacted as production reports come in this week. Minister King, after meeting industry leaders in Western Australia last week, pledged support for the sector. She expressed determination to ensure Australian miners can compete with lower-grade minerals produced in less environmentally friendly ways overseas. In Tokyo, Minister King highlighted Australia’s potential to become a long-term, reliable supplier of critical minerals and rare earths to Japan. Drawing parallels to Japan’s contribution to building Australia’s iron ore and LNG industries, she emphasized the collaborative opportunities between the two nations in the critical minerals and rare earths sectors.