Representative image (Reuters photo)
MELBOURNE: Indian agencies have begun scouting for opportunities in Australia for rare earth and other high value minerals as the government looks to build a strong electronics manufacturing base in the country.
Sources said that Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL), a public sector company, will be sending a team in the coming weeks with some prospective projects identified in Western Australia and other parts of the country. The move follows a recent initiative with Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO). Last week, it signed an MoU with KABIL to carry out joint due diligence for select projects to identify lithium and cobalt mineral assets in Australia.
KABIL has been tasked with identifying and acquiring strategic mineral assets overseas at a time when countries are searching for such resources to meet the ever-growing demand for electronic goods as well as batteries and other components for the renewables goods industry.
While China has taken a lead in acquiring several high value minerals, there are assets that are still available in Australia, sources said. Some private mines are on the radar, although there are several other opportunities in the country, a senior Indian government official told TOI.
Given the geo-strategic considerations, Australia is seeking to strengthen its relationship with India following heightened concerns over its engagement with China.