In a significant development, the United States, Canada and Australia have teamed up to create and launch an interactive map of deposits of rare earths and other critical minerals that are expected to be in hot demand as the world moves to cleaner forms of energy.
The website portal.ga.gov.au/persona/cmmi contains the world’s largest dataset of minerals such cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements and has more than 7,000 mineral samples from over 60 countries which could help identify new areas of critical minerals.
“The data can be used by governments to identify options to diversify their critical minerals sources and by companies to better target their exploration strategies”, said Australian minister for resources, water and northern Australia, Keith Pitt, in a statement.
“While Australia is known across the world for its rich gold and iron ore deposits, our country also has an abundance of critical minerals – which are key to everything from iPhones to fighter jets”.
With China being a dominant supplier of rare earths, many governments are keen to diversify supply chains midst political tensions with Beijing.
Earlier this month, the United State said it would work with allies to secure the minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries and process them domestically.
The dataset was compiled by Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada and the United States Geological Survey.