Mining critical to economic growth: Dutton

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Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has staunchly backed the country's mining sector, saying a successful industry was key to Australia's economic recovery amid global uncertainty.

Speaking at a mining and resources conference in Canberra on Wednesday, Mr Dutton said it was critical for the mining industry to be able to grow.

"Our minerals and mining sector has been core to our national prosperity, historically, and has helped cushion our country from some of the damaging economic impacts ... there's a lot more work that we need to do in conveying that (to the public)," he told the conference.

"A strong performing and well-supported minerals and mining sector will help us as a country to speed up the road to recovery."

Mr Dutton said a key focus for the sector would be in critical minerals mining, such as copper, lithium and nickel.

Many critical minerals are used in components in smart phones and other technologies, as well as in electric cars and wind turbines.

"The need for critical minerals is soaring to accommodate the growth in renewables, low emission technologies, batteries and electric vehicles," he said.

"The inconvenient truth, of course, for activists is that decarbonisation will require more mining. I take some delight knowing it must keep them up at night.

"It's paramount that the current government's policies don't stymie opportunities for industry growth and investment when we could be on the brink of a new mining boom."

The conference comes as the government's climate bill is being debated in the Senate, with it likely to pass on Thursday.

The bill would enshrine a 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030.

However, Mr Dutton said such laws would make infrastructure and resource projects more challenging.

"Legislation will make it harder if not impossible for government agencies ... to support energy and resource projects," he said.