SA looks to boost critical minerals sector

Tim DorninAAP
South Australia has launched a crowdsourcing challenge to grow mining and mineral exploration.
Camera IconSouth Australia has launched a crowdsourcing challenge to grow mining and mineral exploration. Credit: AAP

South Australia has put the call out to global entrepreneurs and companies to help develop the state's critical minerals sector crucial for everything from smartphones to rocket ships.

The state has launched an online crowdsourcing challenge to grow exploration, mining and development of minerals and other materials essential to world economies but facing supply challenges.

The program is focused on attracting the best, most innovative proposals from individuals and businesses across the globe and supporting them to set up operations in SA.

"This investment goes beyond the mining and exploration of critical minerals," Department of Energy and Mining spokeswoman Alex Blood said.

"We want to support initiatives and projects that accelerate the use of critical minerals."

The five chosen finalists will have access to cash incentives and have the opportunity to leverage resources and research facilities along with a network of customers, suppliers and investors.

A global critical minerals hotspot, South Australia has 65 per cent of Australia's copper, graphite and zircon as well as halloysite, cobalt, rare earths and magnesite.

The state is also home to the world's largest zircon mine at Jacinth Ambrosia and Australia's largest graphite deposit on the Eyre Peninsula.

Used in advanced technologies from lithium-ion batteries and smartphones to electric vehicles, and space shuttles, the need for critical minerals is surging as global net-zero emission policies and new technologies drive unprecedented demand.

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