WA battery metals prospectus targets investment

The Western Australian state government has launched a new prospectus promoting investment opportunities in the state’s growing battery and critical minerals industries.

The prospectus, which has already been presented to potential investors in Germany by development minister Roger Cook, aims to build on the state’s minerals endowment and local companies’ increasing involvement in critical metals supply chains.

It outlines how WA aims to establish itself as a destination of choice for investment across the battery and critical minerals value chains.

Cook said: “Western Australia’s status as a leading global supplier of battery and critical minerals is just the start of what the State has to offer investors around the world.

“The WA Government’s new prospectus highlights investment opportunities across the battery and critical minerals value chains, including manufacturing and exporting battery-grade materials.

“It outlines everything Western Australia has to offer, including our abundant and diverse resources, established mineral processing capabilities, and strong environmental, social and governance credentials.”

WA is already a leading supplier of battery and critical minerals. The State accounts for half of global lithium production and is a major exporter of nickel, cobalt, manganese and rare earths, which are essential to rechargeable batteries, electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Major projects built or underway include:

  • BHP Nickel West produced Australia’s first nickel sulphate crystals in September 2021 at its plant in Kwinana
  • Also at Kwinana, Tianqi Lithium Australia produced Australia’s first commercial quantities of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in May 2022
  • Covalent Lithium has commenced construction works at its Kwinana refinery site, with production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide forecast for 2024
  • Ecograf is progressing development approvals for its Battery Anode Material Facility in Rockingham, a facility which has attracted a $56 million loan
  • Backed by a $1 billion federal government loan, Iluka Resources is building Australia’s first fully integrated rare earths refinery in Eneabba
  • And other companies investing in the field include Hastings Technology Metals, Australian Vanadium, Lynas Rare Earths, Pure Battery Technologies in partnership with Poseidon Nickel, and Albemarle.

Major downstream processing projects are also underway with three of the world’s largest lithium producers – Tianqi Lithium (China), Albemarle (United States) and SQM (Chile) partnering with Australian companies IGO, Mineral Resources and Wesfarmers to build and operate battery-grade lithium hydroxide facilities in WA.

More information here.


Picture: BHP Nickel West/sulphate plant

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