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'Fast five' with Dr Amanda Murphy

AusIMM Bulletin
ยท 700 words, 3 min read

Dr Amanda Murphy is a Senior Advisor in Critical Minerals at Austrade, and a keynote speaker at AusIMM's upcoming Critical Minerals Conference 2023.

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With the help of Austrade’s international network, Amanda promotes Australia’s critical minerals capability internationally and engages closely with Australian companies and international off-takers and investors to develop Australia’s critical minerals sector. 

We sat down with Amanda to ask her five quickfire questions on Australia's critical minerals capability and her current role with Austrade.

Australia has a target of net zero emissions by 2050. What key changes need to occur for this to become a reality?

The scale of economic transformation will be vast and require the building of new value chains and see major shifts in existing value chains. The central challenge of transitioning to net zero will be meeting the raw material demanded to build this new net zero world.

Why Australian critical minerals?

This is Australia’s moment and we need to lead the world. The timelines to reach net zero mean our critical minerals project lead times are a key risk factor and we need to act now. These new value chains must be reliable, secure and responsible.

Australia has an unparalleled critical minerals endowment, the expertise in extraction and processing, leadership in responsible mining combined with a stable business environment, transparent regulatory frameworks and the capability to develop into the midstream and downstream. However, we cannot do it in isolation and Australia must leverage international partnerships and foreign investment with likeminded partners to develop our critical minerals sector.

How do we get Australian critical minerals to the world?

Companies and investors are having to move quickly to secure opportunities, resources and diversify supply. These new supply chains will link industries that haven’t traditionally interacted or previously existed. Right now, we need to:

  • promote Australia’s capability so we are not overlooked,
  • build trust,
  • seize the opportunities an uncertain world brings.

The Australian government is committed to trade diversification and is forming strategic partnerships to help unlock new markets and opportunities. Business is the key to realise these opportunities.

What can we do on a practical level to make this happen?

The basics matter. Companies should be prepared and aware of the market and cultural sensitivities. Be responsive and ready to learn. The education process goes both ways, and we need to build trust in new connections and new industries. Companies should understand the full critical minerals supply chain and promote their unique proposition within it.

Reaching net zero emissions requires a complete transformation and there are competing technologies and new ideas. While we need to chase key downstream opportunities, we also need to remain flexible as new supply chains emerge and continually assess the direction of markets and the wider geopolitical landscape. Our incredible minerals endowment means we can meet almost any opportunity. We just must be bold enough to seize it.

Can you tell the readers a little bit about your current role at Austrade?

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) helps grow Australia’s prosperity by accelerating the growth of exports and attracting foreign direct investment into Australia. Austrade promotes Australia as a global climate leader and trusted partner in our region. My role at Austrade is to promote investment opportunities and facilitate commercial partnerships in critical minerals with trade partners in target markets. Austrade uses its global network to support companies looking for offtake and investment in Australian critical minerals projects, downstream processing and value chain creation.

Amanda Murphy joined Austrade in 2021 and has previously held roles in Trade and Investment Queensland and the Queensland Government Strategic Energy and Lower Carbon Policy Teams, including working on the Queensland Government’s New Economy Minerals Initiative.

She has experience as a development geologist including working for Origin Energy on the Australia Pacific LNG Project during the formative days of the Coal Seam Gas industry in Queensland, developing a 400 well gas field in the Surat Basin. Amanda has a Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) with first-class honours in Geology and Geophysics and the University Medal from the University of Sydney. She has a PhD in Engineering from The University of Cambridge.

You can hear Dr Amanda Murphy and many other speakers sharing insights at the Critical Minerals Conference 2023, held in Perth from 21-23 November. You can find out more, view the program and register here.

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