The US is backing Aussie critical minerals projects, and these ASX mining shares could be set to reap the rewards

Some ASX mining shares might benefit from a new focus on critical minerals…

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Key points

  • Green metals like lithium and cobalt have been a focus of ASX investors for a while now 
  • But a new US-Australia agreement could see government investment in this space increase dramatically 
  • So let's see which ASX shares could be the beneficiaries of this focus... 

The Australian mining industry got some big news this week. The Australian trade minister Dan Tehan met with the US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in Washington D.C. This was for the inaugural Australia-US Strategic Commercial Dialogue. According to the minister’s press release, Mr Tehan was joined by CEOs from “the critical minerals and rare earths sector to take part in a Critical Minerals Roundtable”.

In a joint statement, Mr Tehan and Secretary Raimondo said the following:

[We] highlighted the commercial potential for both Australian and U.S. industries and underscored the need to strengthen capabilities across all segments of the supply chain, including extraction and downstream processing. Australia and the United States will look at how their respective financing mechanisms could be better coordinated and leveraged to support private investment in supply chains.

So this indicates that the US and Australian governments are intending to work together to expand Australian production and processing of ‘critical minerals and rare earths’.

Critical minerals refer to the US Government’s list of minerals that have been identified to “play a significant role in our national security, economy, renewable energy development and infrastructure”. The list now totals 50 different elements and minerals. These include cobalt, graphite, magnesium, nickel, lithium, neodymium, vanadium and zinc. 

Which ASX mining shares could benefit from focus on critical minerals?

So the government of both the US and Australia are now focusing on developing domestic mining and processing facilities for as many of these minerals as possible. That’s partly because many global supply chains presently run through China. This situation is increasingly being viewed as a strategic problem. This could have huge consequences for Australian mining shares.

Lithium shares are an obvious beneficiary. The ASX is home to many of these. The most prominent of which is Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS). But we also have Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) and AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX: AVZ)

The ASX is also home to some cobalt miners. Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX: COB) has been in the news recently after it was granted ‘major project status’ by the government earlier this month. 

Earlier today, we looked at some ASX vanadium miners. One such share is Neometals Ltd (ASX: NMT).

Nickel shares like Nickel Mines Ltd (ASX: NIC) have also recently been drawing attention.

And then there is rare earths company Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC). Lynas is one of the only significant producers of rare earths elements like neodymium outside China. 

So all of these ASX resources shares have the potential to benefit over the medium-to-long term from the news out of the trade minister’s office this week. Many have already received assistance from governments. And many more might join them in the future. Critical mineral security is certianly a hot topic right now, given the current geopolitical climate. Thus, this is a space well worth keeping an eye on.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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