The McGowan Government announced today that plans to build a new lithium refinery in Kwinana will go ahead.
The joint venture between Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile and Kidman Resources, will see the refinery producing approximately 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate and/or lithium hydroxide each year.
Minerals will be processed at the proposed mine and concentrator at Mt Holland, south-east of the Southern Cross.
Construction of the refinery is expected to start mid-2019, and will create 700 jobs in the construction of the refinery, lithium mine and concentrator, and another 150 jobs during the operational phase.
All of which, Premier Mark McGowan, ensures will be sourced by Western Australians.
“This is all about making sure we maximise the job opportunities for our country, especially for our state and make sure West Australians are the beneficiaries for minerals that we have,” he said.
The estimated capital for the project is in the $100 millions mark, as this new plant will be one of the biggest in the world.
Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston, explained with the lithium plant set to be the biggest, and WA already being home to the largest nickel refinery (BHP), WA will be dubbed the centre of battery technology.
“WA is a major player in every element that goes into batteries,” said Mr Johnston.
Batteries contain both lithium and nickel, and with production increased the revenue will be flowing in, with projections that it might be the start of a new mining boom.
“Lithium is a large part of our states future, it’s needed for all sorts of electric cars, mobile phones, iPads, computers, you name it it’s the product of the future,”
“We are blessed to have so much lithium here in WA,” said Mr McGowan.
Not only does the Government want to mine it, but processing it locally will ensure over time even more work is done on electric batteries.