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WA critical minerals strategy open for comment

Manufacturing News

The Western Australian Government is refocusing the State’s activities in the rapidly evolving battery and critical minerals sector with the release of a new paper for public consultation.

The state’s Battery and Critical Minerals Strategy opened for comment, aiming to build on successes already achieved by the increasingly lucrative industry.

The state is already home to the world’s largest source of rare earths outside China, Lynas Rare Earths, and Iluka Resources is building the country’s first rare earths refinery supported by a $1.25 billion under the federal government’s Critical Minerals Facility.

The state has also achieved some success in supporting further minerals processing including of nickel and lithium used in batteries, especially around the Kwinana industrial area south of Perth.

Predictions for growth of Australia’s battery and critical minerals sector have more than doubled in the past two years, according to the government.

The strategy aims to further grow WA’s battery and critical minerals industries, with an emphasis on increasing domestic value-adding and manufacturing.

Since the strategy was last updated in 2020, there have been changes in the international investment environment, including significant global policy shifts in the critical minerals and renewables industries.

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said: “Western Australia is a globally significant battery and critical minerals processing hub and it is important we do all we can to further capitalise on this incredible opportunity.

“A diversified battery industry is forecast to contribute nearly $17 billion in gross value added and over 61,000 jobs to the national economy by 2030. This is more than twice the value first estimated in 2021.

“Hearing from the industry is critical to ensuring we have the right strategy in place to continue to grow into the future.”

Further reading:
Iluka progresses critical rare earths refinery
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Lynas Rare Earths here.

Picture: Iluka Resources

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