Australia looks to export lithium, rare earth and coal to India

The new Australian government is looking to expand its trade ties with India in areas other than from thermal coal, where it is confident that the demand will remain robust. 

The country is looking to export lithium for electric vehicles, rare earth for high-tech renewable component, and high-quality coal, said Matthew Canavan, the Australian minister for natural resources. 

“India and Australia have a strong relationship on the coal side. There could be more direct investments in other directions such as minerals and agri products,” Canavan said in a media roundtable during his visit to New Delhi.

He said there is a strong market for lithium in India given the government’s ambitious plans for electric vehicles. 

Australia is also hopeful that coal demand — especially for high-grade Australian coal — in Southeast Asia will remain steady. 

Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael coal mining and rail project recently received all necessary approvals. The new Australian government is aggressively in support of the project, unlike the previous one. “It was a lengthy process for the project to get all approvals. It was a learning experience for the government as well. We are open for investment,” he said.

Canavan met Piyush Goyal, minister for commerce and railways, and Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of petroleum and natural gas and steel, during his visit. 

Pradhan said India is already an importer of LNG from Australia. “Indian consumer is price sensitive, and therefore, affordability of LNG imports from Australia will be an important factor in enhancing cooperation in this area,” he said.

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