Monday, May 20, 2024

WA Govt welcomes $20m minerals sector support

The WA Government has welcomed the almost $20 billion in funding support for critical minerals processing and resource exploration announced by the Federal Government last night as part of its 2024-25 Budget.

A 10% production tax credit totalling $17.6 billion over 14 years for critical minerals producers will support existing downstream processing activities as well as those entering production in future.

Premier Roger Cook (pictured) said the Federal Government’s $10.2 million investment in pre-feasibility studies to develop critical mineral common-user processing facilities and help small and medium-sized aspirants become producers, will also be broadly welcomed by industry.

“I congratulate the Federal Government for its foresight and vision to assist Western Australia in becoming a world leader in the downstream processing of critical minerals and production of renewable hydrogen that will be essential in transitioning the globe to a low-carbon economy,” said Premier Cook.

“These commitments represent a big vote of confidence in the future of Western Australia’s powerhouse resources sector, and acknowledge its ongoing importance to the national economy.

“These investments also complement our $500 million Strategic Industries Fund investment unveiled in last week’s State Budget to deliver common-user and other enabling infrastructure at strategic industrial areas (SIAs) across regional and metropolitan WA.

“Collectively, the measures announced in the 2024-25 Federal Budget provide a supportive environment to help underpin future investment decisions for major critical minerals and hydrogen projects moving forward.”

He said Western Australian producers will also benefit from a $5.8 million critical minerals trade enhancement initiative aimed at accelerating trade efforts to realise a premium for Australia’s critical minerals that are produced to high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

“I welcome the inclusion of all 31 critical minerals as qualifying for a production tax credit, which is something that industry has been calling for,” said the Premier.

“This news will come as welcome relief – particularly for WA nickel and lithium miners facing extremely challenging market conditions.”

The WA Government also welcomed the Federal Government’s new $6.7 billion Hydrogen Production Tax Incentive of $2 per kilogram to encourage production of renewable hydrogen over the next decade.

“These are significant investments in the future of Western Australia and Australia’s aspirations to become a major global player in the downstream processing of critical minerals,” said Mines and Petroleum Minister, David Michael.

“A recent report commissioned by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies found the downstream processing of critical minerals could add $2.4 billion and 4,220 jobs to Australia’s economy by 2035.

“I’d acknowledge the efforts of the sector’s peak industry bodies in advocating for a production tax credit and other initiatives to support the downstream processing of critical minerals in Australia.

“I also look forward to working with my Federal counterpart Resources Minister Madeleine King towards securing the balance of funds required for the development of a Critical Minerals Advanced Processing (CMAP) facility.

“The CMAP common user facility will focus on upstream and midstream activities to support mineral processing, high purity metal refining and advanced materials manufacturing.

“It will enable companies a quicker pathway to commercial-scale investment decisions on the downstream processing of battery and critical minerals in Australia.

“The State Government committed $100 million to the CMAP in its recent State Budget with the facility contingent upon matched funding from the Commonwealth.”

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