Australia's first “critical minerals hub” has been slated for the New South Wales Central West. 

The NSW Government has launched its Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy, which it describes as “a new frontier for the NSW mining sector”, which will make the most of untapped rare earth mineral deposits in the Central West.

Under the strategy, the state has committed to establish Australia’s first Critical Minerals Hub, promote exploration for critical minerals resources, develop supply chains and attract investment for critical minerals resources, downstream processing and recycling.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said “the future global economy and the pathway to lower emissions will be founded on minerals that NSW is rich in, such as cobalt, rare earth elements and copper”.

He said the elements are “vital in enabling our vibrant growth industries like advanced manufacturing, batteries, defence and aerospace, technology-enabled primary industries and renewables”.

“This strategy has been in the making for a number of years,” he said.

“These minerals are going to be the future with solar panels, renewables, aerospace and defence.

“They need these rare earth metals and minerals and we've got them right here.

“That's why we want to be a global supplier and lead the world.

“By having this strategy we are now creating the opportunity for investment in NSW — companies will now want to explore, extract and be involved in advanced manufacturing.”

However, the strategy is more of a broad outline for now, with no funding or timelines attached.