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Australia warned of ‘over-mining’ risk in race to secure minerals needed for clean energy

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In the high-stakes quest to break China’s grip over minerals crucial to clean energy technology, Australia risks over-mining while ignoring alternatives such as improved battery recycling, according to a new report.

The release of the Jubilee Australia research, which questions mineral demand assumptions and warns against causing unnecessary environmental harm, comes as the federal government prepares a strategy to address China’s dominance of minerals seen as critical to a nation.

Jubilee said Australia could be digging up more critical minerals than necessary due to a rush to capitalise on “staggering predictions”.

“It is critical that we adopt a smarter and more efficient approach as we look to exploit another resource,” said the report’s lead author, Luke Fletcher.

“While the government’s strategy to make Australia a ‘renewable energy superpower’ will validly speed up the transition from a fossil fuel-based export economy, extracting these key transition minerals will cause significant social and environmental damage if we don’t manage it correctly.”

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