21/05/2012 - 13:06

CME to lead rare earths and lithium delegation to Europe

21/05/2012 - 13:06

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One of the state’s leading mining industry groups has kicked off a 13-day tour of Europe to promote the Australian rare earths and lithium sector.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia will lead a 17-member delegation to Germany, France and the United Kingdom to meet with automotive and transport providers, electronics researchers and universities and materials research entities.

CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the rare earths sector was currently dominated by China, while the rest of the world searched for alternative sources.

“Western Australia is well known for its iron ore and LNG industry, however, there is huge potential for our rare earths and lithium products and knowledge to make a real and strategic impact,” Mr Howard-Smith said in a statement.

“Rare earths and lithium are used in many of the products which are now commonplace in every day society – electric motors, computers, wind turbines, batteries – including those in the growing automotive hybrid and eclectic segment, LCDs and mobile phones.

“The ability to process rare earths is key to the development of the sector and Germany and France are keen to apply their expertise and technology to this technically challenging field in association with Australian expertise.”

Joining the CME are representatives from Galaxy Resources, Hastings Rare Earths, Northern MInierals, East Coast Minerals and Greenland Minerals and Energy.

Other delegates include representatives from ANSTO, CSIRO, BASF, Murdoch University, Curtin University, Austrade, the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of State Development. 

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