Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
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The Federal Government’s bold investment of $11 billion to expand the Critical Minerals Facility, overseen by Export Finance Australia and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, has reignited discussions surrounding rare earth mining in Australia. Despite scientific concerns, the government aims to bolster the nation’s position in the critical minerals market, tapping into the vast potential of rare earth elements crucial for various technologies including renewable energy, defense systems, and telecommunications.

Australia, boasting approximately one-fifth of the world’s potential rare earth supply, has seen a surge in exploration endeavors supported by a $225 million fund allocated by Geoscience Australia. This initiative has spurred significant interest, leading to the establishment of 419 new exploration tenements by 49 companies. Proponents of mineral sand mining predict a prosperous future, with Professor Susan Park highlighting Australia’s advantageous position to capitalize on the impending mining boom.

Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell underscored the government’s commitment to unlocking new critical minerals projects, envisioning Australia as a renewable energy powerhouse while emphasizing job creation in emerging industries. Collaborations with international partners such as the Republic of Korea and Germany are also sought to diversify global supply chains and enhance economic resilience.

However, not all stakeholders share the government’s enthusiasm for a new mining era. Concerns voiced in the Harvard International Review highlight environmental risks associated with rare earth extraction, including the release of toxic chemicals and radioactive residues. The potential impact on agricultural land and water sources has drawn criticism, particularly regarding proposed mineral sand mines in Victoria’s Murray Basin and the Northern Territory.

China’s recent ban on rare earth extraction and separation technologies has further underscored the global significance of Australia’s rare earth reserves. While aiming to mitigate environmental degradation and bolster national security, China’s dominance in the rare earth market has left a legacy of pollution and ecological damage, as evidenced by the devastating effects of mining activities in Bayan Obo.

In Australia, the debate over rare earth mining continues to intensify, with proposed projects facing scrutiny over their potential impact on agricultural livelihoods and environmental sustainability. The government’s investment signals a strategic push towards economic growth and technological advancement, yet the ensuing environmental and social implications warrant careful consideration and public discourse.