WA aims at lithium
The WA Government says it wants to position the state at the centre of the booming lithium industry.
Australia's Kidman Resources and Chilean company Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) has entered into a 50-50 joint venture to build a multi-million dollar refinery in Kwinana, near Perth.
The refineyr is designed to service a proposed lithium mine in the northern Goldfields, and produce about 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide each year.
“Other states are talking but we're the only ones that are actually involved in this industry,” says WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston.
“We have every element that you need to make a battery here in Western Australia.”
Western Australia already contains the world's largest lithium mine in Greenbushes in WA's south-west, with several more mines and processing plants in the pipleine.
The state government is spending $5.5 million on a lithium and new energy research centre, but is waiting on federal funding to progress.
Premier Mark McGowan says WA is perfectly-placed to capitalise on a high-demand global market.
“Western Australia is in the box seat to take advantage of that,” he said.
“My government wants to make sure that we process as much of that lithium [as possible], and that Western Australians get those jobs and opportunities.”