Australia wants to leverage its position as a top mineral producer by boosting processing and manufacturing, part of a plan to challenge China’s dominance in the supply of products key to a clean-energy transition.
The Australian government yesterday unveiled a 10-year road map that includes A$1.3 billion (US$1 billion) of funding to help businesses capitalize on the country’s abundant natural resources and exploit opportunities in a de-carbonizing world.
It encourages growth in high-value products such as batteries and solar cells, as well as technologies and equipment that make mining safer and more efficient.
The Modern Manufacturing Initiative comes as the US and Japan look to cut their dependence on China for minerals that are vital to many manufacturing sectors.
Australia is the top exporter of lithium, a key component in batteries, and is also a major source of rare earth minerals.
Beijing is reviewing its rare earth minerals policy, and there are signs that it might ban the export of refining technology to nations or firms that it deems are a threat to state security.
“It’s a sovereign and strategic priority for Australia to ensure that we are hard-wired into this supply chain around the world,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a media briefing following the announcement.
It has to be “a supply chain that Australia and our partners can rely on, because these rare earths and critical minerals are what pull together the technology that we will be relying on into the future,” Morrison said.
Lynas Rare Earths Ltd sends minerals from its operations in Australia to Malaysia for processing, but has plans to build a facility close to its Mount Weld mine in the country’s west.
Iluka Resources Ltd is also assessing options to build processing capacity.
Energy Renaissance and other companies are looking to establish a domestic battery manufacturing industry on Australia’s east coast.
SUPPLY HICCUPS: Poor manufacturing yields at Apple’s overseas suppliers have caused at least one maker of its new MiniLED displays to pause production, sources said The next-generation display destined to be a highlight of Apple Inc’s upcoming top-tier iPad Pro is facing production issues that could lead to short initial supplies of the new device, people familiar with the matter said. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant plans to showcase a new MiniLED display technology in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro set to be announced as early as the second half of this month. However, the firm’s overseas suppliers are dealing with poor manufacturing yields, the people who asked not to be named discussing sensitive matters said. At least one of the MiniLED makers has had to pause production as
RETAIL BANKING EXIT: Clients are concerned whether their rights would be protected, while employees were caught by surprise as the bank had just upgraded its services Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) yesterday said that credit card clients could continue using their cards as operations would continue normally until it sells its consumer banking business. As of February, the bank had 2.86 million credit cards in circulation in Taiwan, of which 2.17 million had been used in the past six months, ranking it sixth among all banks, data from the Financial Supervisory Commission showed. Credit card spending by Citibank clients totaled NT$15.66 billion (US$552.6 million) in February, also ranking sixth among banks in Taiwan. Citibank was the only foreign bank that made it into the top six. Customers should not
END OF AN ERA: The Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets have served the airline well, but new-generation aircraft are more fuel-efficient, CAL chairman Hsieh Shih-chien said China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 華航) yesterday bid farewell to its last four Boeing 747-400 planes, ending the era of the “Queen of the Skies” at the airline. CAL has since 1975 operated a total of 29 747 series aircraft manufactured by Boeing Co. In 1990, it started receiving delivery of 19 747-400 jumbo jets, with the last one, the B-18215, delivered in 2005, it said. The B-18215 was the last of the passenger model produced by Boeing, making the 16-year-old aircraft the world’s youngest 747-400, CAL chairman Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙) told an event to bid farewell to the planes at Taiwan Taoyuan
DIVERSE SUPPLY: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm’s US$12 billion investment in Arizona would succeed with continued bipartisan support from the US Congress Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, on Monday took part in a virtual White House summit about a global semiconductor shortage and Washington’s plans to strengthen US supply chains. The Hsinchu-based company was among 19 firms, including fellow chipmakers Samsung Electronics Co, GlobalFoundries Inc and Intel Corp, that attended the summit hosted by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, US National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. US President Joe Biden told executives in the meeting that there is bipartisan support in the US Congress for efforts to strengthen the US