Australia has a new agreement with Korea to strengthen cooperation on critical minerals.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) comes ahead of President Moon Jae-in's visit to Australia to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

“Australia, and particularly Western Australia, has significant reserves of the critical minerals that will be essential to future technologies not just in energy but across a range of industries,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week.

“More and more countries are realising the untapped opportunities we have right here for critical minerals exports, and this partnership isn’t just about developing those but also helping secure those essential supply chains.”

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt signed the agreement with the Republic of Korea’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy, Moon Sung-wook.

“The Republic of Korea is one of our nation’s top trade and investment partners for resources and energy and this agreement will build on our existing links,” Mr Pitt said.

“It will foster Korean investment in Australian critical minerals projects and boost our exports, while the Republic of Korea will secure a reliable supply.

“Australia has rich deposits in critical minerals including rare earths, lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel, and we are developing our capability in downstream processing.”

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the partnership presents many opportunities.

“Commercial cooperation and investment from the Republic of Korea in Australian critical minerals will create new jobs across Australia, particularly in regional areas,” Ms Price said.

“Australia is blessed with strong reserves of critical minerals, and these precious resources will drive the new energy economy into the future.”

Australia has put up $50 million for the partnership, to be matched by the Republic of Korea.