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India to get critical mineral access with Australian FTA

MSN - 2 July 2024

India to get critical mineral access with Australian FTA
By Mukesh Jagota

The upgradation of trade agreement between India and Australia will enable greater access to the critical minerals and other capabilities to manage transition to green energy, Australian high commissioner to India Philip Green said.

“We have huge resources in minerals and energy that can support make in India and in particular we have strong reserves of critical minerals with the largest producer of lithium and second largest producer of cobalt,” he said at the conference on the roadmap for vehicle electrification organised by India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA).

India and Australia are negotiating to upgrade their Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) to Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Last year, both countries had reached an agreement on a Critical Minerals Investment Partnership, which identified five target projects (two lithium and three cobalt) on which to undertake detailed due diligence.

Investments under the partnership will seek to build new supply chains underpinned by critical minerals processed in Australia, that will help India’s plans to lower emissions from its electricity network and become a global manufacturing hub, including for electric vehicles.

At the conference, commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal said India and Australia are looking at ways to increase cooperation in critical minerals and their processing, besides battery production.

“We are looking at how we can integrate our (India and Australia) economies in terms of battery production, in terms of mineral production, in terms of mineral processing, in terms of vehicle production,” he said.

Barthwal added that like Australia, India has signed a trade pact with the four-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Norway is a key member of that grouping.

“Norway has done extremely well in terms of the renewable energy sector…and we are collaborating with Norway. Similarly, we are collaborating with the European Union.

“We have a technology group where we are looking at different technologies in battery making, in vehicle making, in mineral processing, in critical technologies,” he added.

Talking about the EV opportunity in India, Barthwal said that the sale of EVs is increasing at a fast pace in the country and it needs a whole ecosystem, not just manufacturing.

“A whole gamut of activities is going to open up through the energy transition in the country, and there is a lot to do both by the government and the private sector, and therefore a great opportunity is coming to investors to invest in this whole value chain,” he said.

 source: MSN