The federal government has announced plans to invest $840 million in the Arafura rare earths project located in Central Australia.

Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King emphasized the strategic importance of leveraging Australia’s abundant rare mineral deposits on the international stage. She stated, “The main consideration is that we compete on the world stage with our natural resources … principally this is about competition.” This initiative seeks to shift the paradigm where raw minerals are processed offshore by establishing domestic processing capabilities.

The federal government is set to provide significant backing for a rare earth mine and processing facility in Central Australia, allocating an $840 million package of loans and grants. This investment, directed towards the Nolans Project spearheaded by Arafura, aims to propel Australia into a leading role in the ethical and sustainable production of rare earths amidst global competition for critical minerals.

The decision to support the Arafura project follows closely on the heels of another significant commitment by the federal government: a $230 million loan agreement for Liontown Resources, a West Australian lithium developer partly owned by Gina Rinehart. The Albanese government underlined the transformative potential of the Arafura project, positioning it as pivotal in solidifying Australia’s status as a renewable energy superpower.

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