Australia’s minerals key to renewable energy – CSIRO

Australia’s mining and manufacturing sectors working together is key to unlocking our potential as a renewable energy powerhouse according to a report released today by CSIRO.

CSIRO’s Critical Energy Minerals Roadmap highlights the potential to reshape mining to turn resources such as lithium and silicon into products for renewable energy, like electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines.

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said the future global economy would be underpinned by critical energy minerals.

Dr Marshall said: “Australia’s future economic prosperity will depend on how well we can use our vast energy and mineral resources to play to our strengths and create new opportunities through the global transition to net zero emissions.

“There is a wealth of opportunity in front of us that will only be fully realised by developing a Team Australia response.”

In fact mining has already begun to change with numerous hydrogen, lithium and advanced materials projects underway.

In the past 24 hours @AuManufacturing has featured plans by Li-S Energy to manufacture lithium-sulphur batteries and by Graphene Manufacturing Group to make aluminium-ion batteries locally.

Crucially both companies are partnered with leading Australian technology universities, and both plans have been embraced by investors on and off the stock market.

The CSIRO report, co-funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, examines renewable technologies and assesses Australia’s potential.

It also considers our comparative strengths, technology supply chains and offers a guide to investment in local manufacturing.

The Roadmap estimates the metal value of the energy transition underway to technologies to reach more than $5 trillion dollars globally by 2050.

More than half of that is for battery metals, with greater value potential for manufacturing products like cathodes for batteries or polysilicon for solar PV cells.

CSIRO’s director of mineral resources Jonathan Law said: “Rather than just extracting the minerals and shipping them away to be refined and turned into products, Australia has a real opportunity to operate all the way along the energy value chain, from extraction to processing, separating, refining and manufacturing high value materials and products.

“Connecting our mining and manufacturing sectors can create an investment ecosystem that supports domestic supply chains and resource circularity for our critical minerals.”

CSIRO developed the roadmap as part of its Critical Energy Metals Mission.

Picture: CSIRO/Renewable Energy Integration Facility control room at CSIRO Newcastle

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