Export Finance Australia offers A$2bn (US$1.5 B) in critical mineral loans

(Global Trade Review, London, 6 October 2021) The Australian government has created a A$2bn (US$1.5bn) loan facility to spur investment in the country’s critical minerals sector, as it attempts to position Australia at the source of supply chains for technologies such as battery storage and electric vehicles. The facility will be provided through the National Interest Account (NIA) of Export Finance Australia (EFA), the country’s export credit agency. The NIA handles transactions that the government directs EFA to support. Minerals such as lithium, cobalt, titanium and rare earth elements are categorised as critical minerals because they are relatively scarce or geographically concentrated, difficult to substitute and are used in emerging technologies including large batteries. China is currently the biggest exporter of many of the minerals, with Australia another top supplier.