The Australian government’s push to win support from America’s export financing agencies for Australian critical minerals projects was in train long before Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine.

But the two tectonic shifts unleashed by the war – energy security and self-reliance – can only have helped secure an important win for Trade Minister Dan Tehan.

His mission to Washington sought to dismantle administrative hurdles that prevent the US government’s export agencies from funding Australian projects in minerals vital to the manufacture of defence and battery equipment, including lithium, nickel, rare earths, copper, graphite and cobalt.

On Thursday, The Australian Financial Review’s Washington correspondent Matthew Cranston reported that US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has committed to “going one by one breaking down barriers”.

It may take some time for finance to flow. But when it does, it will add to $2.5 billion worth of debt and equity that has gushed into the local critical minerals sector in the last 12 months; just weeks ago, the government announced $243.6 million of grants for four companies that have prospective critical minerals processing projects.

Read James Thomson’s article in The Australian Financial Review – Online