Graphite miner and processor EcoGraf has been granted major project status by the federal government for its battery anode material facility to be built at Kwinana south of Perth.
The approval came as the government called for grant applications for Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing projects under its Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
Grants of up to $20 million are available.
Industry minister Karen Andrews said the facility would contribute to the growth of critical minerals industries and had the potential to encourage further projects.
The proposed development to produce spherical graphite products will cost $29.7 million to construct an initial 5,000 tonne plant, with a further $65 million to reach full capacity of 20,000 tonnes.
The company has developed new chemical processes which have been tested in a pilot plant, proving production in Australia is competitive with Chinese supply.
EcoGraf CEO Andrew Spinks said the project was positioned as an integral part of manufacturing critical battery metals.
Spinks said: “Unprecedented investment is currently underway to establish self-sufficient and sustainable battery manufacturing supply chains to support the electric vehicle industry.”
The company has also developed its EcoGraf process which recovers graphite from battery wastes.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has described the project as a significant step in diversifying downstream processing and contributing to the global battery value chain.
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