Tim Shanahan, Shannon O’Rourke and Trish Miller recently visited Canberra during budget week and met with a range of Government and Opposition Ministers, Advisers and departmental representatives to discuss our budget submission and the value a battery industry could bring to Australia. We were welcomed by both sides of politics, and all expressed a genuine interest in building an industry here in Australia.
That interest in reflected in the raft of significant funding announcements in support of the battery industry that have occurred in recent months, which are summarised below:
- Alpha HPA, Australian Vanadium, Arafura Resources and Pure Battery Technologies shared in $243 million from the Modern Manufacturing Initiative Collaboration Stream.
- Ecograf, Renascor and Iluka benefited from $1.3 billion in debt from the Australian $2bn Critical Minerals Loan Facility.
- The updated 2022 Critical Minerals Strategy was released which now focuses on mineral processing. This included the $250 million Critical Minerals Accelerator, with $50 million for a CSIRO led virtual National Critical Minerals Research and Development Centre.
- Lava Blue received $5.2 million for a novel process to recover HPA, Cobalt Blue received $15 million for a feasibility study, and EQ resources received $6 million for a tailings to tungsten project.
- Curtin University, University of Queensland and James Cook University were awarded the Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing Trailblazer; while the University of Adelaide and University of New South Wales secured the Defence Trailblazer. Deakin University has been shortlisted for Recycling and Clean Energy.
- On Sunday, Labor announced its $1bn Value Adding in Australia Fund, part of its $15 billion Reconstruction Fund.
Chief Executive Officer Shannon O’Rourke said these significant announcements represent growing interest in the battery sector and proactive industry activity is vital in maintaining momentum.
“This level of support from government is only possible when industry is on the front foot progressing plans and making investment decisions. I encourage all of our valued industry partners to continue to collaborate and invest in the industry and as always, the FBICRC team is available to assist in any way we can,” said Shannon.