Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Industry News, News, West Australia

WA commits $500m to critical mineral strategy

A Franna Mac25 pick and carry crane gets inspected by a rigger on a mine-site in Perth, Australia.

The Western Australian Government has committed an extra $500 million to the state’s Strategic Industries Fund to further its Battery and Critical Mineral Strategy.

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Announced on May 22 via the Government’s website, the move comes as WA attempts to position itself as a major global player in the downstream processing of critical minerals. According to Premier Roger Cook, critical minerals represent the “centrepiece” of WA’s economic diversification story, with the “refreshed” strategy representing that.

“Right now, our priorities are a more efficient approvals system, planning and investment in common‑user infrastructure and targeted support for strategically important projects,” he said.

“My government has now invested $500 million in a new Strategic Industries Fund to unlock the industrial land we need to get major clean energy and job-creating projects off the ground.”

Funded as part of the 2024-25 State Budget, the WA’ Government’s investment will deliver common-user and other enabling infrastructure at SIAs across regional and metropolitan WA, according to the press release.

It comes as new data from the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety shows 2023 represented another “stellar” year for the State’s resources sector.

Employment in the sector was at record levels and sales on production were at a near-record of $248 billion for the calendar year.

“I’m pleased that Western Australia’s resources sector continues to perform strongly notwithstanding the market challenges faced by the nickel and lithium industries,” said Mines and Petroleum Minister, David Michael. “The sector achieved another record level of employment with an average of 130,165 full-time equivalents in 2023, reflecting strong levels of mining and construction activity in the State.”

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