Western Australia Lithium - a 50:50 joint venture between Kidman Resources and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) - is set to proceed with its plans to build a new lithium refinery in the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area.
The joint venture has signed an agreement to enter into an Option to Lease with LandCorp for the site near Perth where the future lithium refinery will stand.
Construction of the refinery is projected to support up to 400 jobs, and works are expected to begin by mid-2019.
Project location (source: Kidman Resources)
Once completed, the new refinery will be able to produce approximately 40,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide which will come from the minerals processed at the joint venture’s proposed Mount Holland mine and concentrator - located near Southern Cross.
The proposed lithium mine and concentrator is projected to create up to 300 jobs during construction as well as approximately 150 operational jobs.
“A new lithium refinery will bring significant investment to the State and local economy, including construction and operational employment opportunities,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
Project location with rendering (source: Kidman Resources)
In addition, the Premier and Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston also announced that the recent State Budget will include a provisional funding of $5.5 million for the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), which will support the development and manufacturing of technology metals as well as renewable energy sources.
If successful, MRIWA will be investing the funds towards its bid to create a New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in Western Australia. This New Energy Industry CRC is aimed at creating value through industry-led research as well as drive global demand for local services, products and solutions.
“Our reserves of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other metals, required for new energy technologies, combined with our technical skills and our close proximity to Asia, means WA is well-placed to capitalise on the growing battery market,” Mr Johnston said.
What are your thoughts on this project? Let us know in the comments section below. Or you can also check the recently announced $5.4 billion infrastructure package for WA here.
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