US, Australia to fund rare earth projects

Resources minister Matt Canavan says Australia and the US will work together on rare earth projects

Australia and the United States have agreed to cooperate to fund mining projects for rare earth minerals.

Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan said he and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had come to the agreement, with officials to meet again in February.

"This work will offer opportunities for new projects to get off the ground," Senator Canavan said.

"The growing global demand for critical minerals will provide scope for Australian miners to enter stable and secure supply chains to meet growing demand."

Rare earths are minerals used in smart phones, renewable energy and even in defence technology.

Australia has 14 of the 35 rare earth minerals deemed critical to the US with Senator Canavan previously referring to China as a "dominant supplier".

The government has previously announced rare earth mining projects could receive subsidies through its export financing agency.