Research carried out by the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia shows that battery manufacture in WA is technically and commercially feasible.
Western Australia produces 9 of the 10 mineral elements required to make batteries, including nickel, lithium and cobalt, and expertise in mineral processing.
Currently Australia exports all its battery minerals, worth about $1.2 billion a year to the Australian economy, but loses out on the profitable manufacturing process of lithium-ion batteries.
The report shows there is an opportunity for Australia to share in the predicted (by 2030) $137 billion lithium-ion battery market, which would create local jobs and build expertise within the workforce.
The report found that the Future Batteries Industry Cooperative Research Centre’s (FBICRC) Cathode Precursor Pilot Plant can be built at CSIRO’s Waterford facilities. The pilot plant will provide critical technical knowledge of how to build an industrial scale plant in WA.
WA’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the report demonstrated that Western Australia had the potential to become a major processing, manufacturing and trading hub for battery materials.
“This will help diversify the Western Australian economy, create jobs and place Australia at the forefront of the global battery revolution,” he said.
“The McGowan Government’s Future Battery Industry Strategy continues to [support] WA’s battery chain capability and invest in research to lead the nation’s growth in the uptake of opportunities across the whole global battery value chain.”
You can read the report in full here: https://fbicrc.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Li-ion-Battery-Cathode-Manufacturing-in-Aust-1.pdf