The Australian Resources and Energy Law Journal (ARELJ) began as a collaboration between The Centre for Energy and Resources Law of the University of Melbourne, The Centre for Mining Energy and Natural Resources Law of the University of Western Australia and Energy & Resources Law Association (formerly AMPLA Limited).

A peer reviewed, academic publication, the ARELJ covers current issues, recent developments and challenges relevant internationally and locally to each state and territory.

As well as peer reviewed articles, the ARELJ contains comments on matters of interest, notes on recent developments in case law and legislation, case notes and occasional book reviews.

Our Journal Vision is: Practical legal insights for the Energy and Resources Industries.


recent development                                          


John Southalan

Barrister (WA Bar Association), Mediator (NMAS), Adjunct Professor (UWA & Murdoch)   This note is written in a personal capacity and does not represent the views of any organisation with which the author is associated.

This note examines the legal and policy attention being focused on “critical minerals”, and implications for mineral regulation in Australia and particularly Western Australia. The note was written for a 21 February 2024 seminar held by ER Law at the Perth office of Norton Rose Fulbright.

The last year has seen great focus on “critical minerals”. There is broad consensus that, to meet the 2050 energy transition for the Paris Agreement, much more critical minerals are required (and that means mined, given that recycling supply cannot meet expected demand [i]). Many governments have adopted incentives to encourage and support the mining and processing of these minerals. And, just in the last few months, significant price volatility has seen some critical mineral operations in Western Australia close, and increasing consideration of government incentives.


[i]        US Department of Energy, Critical Materials Assessment 2023, Ch 4, “Demand Trajectories and Current Production Capacity of Key Materials”, 56.


Editorial Committee

The Editorial Committee is responsible for the publication of AREL Journal, reviewing all submissions, and approving or rejecting each for publication.

Editor: Dr Penny Crossley, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney Law School
Editorial Board:
• Peter Holden, Chair, ActewAGL
• Simon Bladen, Rio Tinto
• Kanaga Dharmananda, Francis Burt Chambers WA Bar
• Lauren Kirkwood, Rio Tinto
• Natalie Lonergan, Norton Rose Fulbright
• Robert Merrick, Herbert Smith Freehills
• James Minchinton
• Peter Rose, Johnson Winter & Slattery
• Samantha Smart, Price Waterhouse Cooper


Authors considering a submission should contact their State Coordinator to discuss whether any proposed topic has already been assigned to an author.


Submission Requirements

An article is 3-10,000 words and argues a core substantial point with appropriate supporting analysis and references. An article may be submitted to the Branch Coordinator at any time. Articles are subject to peer review and will not be published until that process is complete.

Comments, case notes and book reviews are 1-3,000 words and will give an explanation and analysis of a recent topical issue, case or book.

Recent development reports are up to 1,500 words and describe a recent policy, legislative or case law development with minimal analysis


Notes for Authors

Authors preparing submissions for the AREL Journal should ensure that all references and other material are in accordance with the Notes for Authors.


Articles subject to peer review - authors are required to provide an assignment of their copyright.

Other submissions - authors are required to provide Energy & Resources Law with a licence to publish

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