Tuesday 9th Mar, 2021

New WA strategy to develop battery minerals sector

lithium processing

The Western Australian Government has launched a new strategy to become a world-leading exporter of future battery minerals, materials, technologies and expertise.

WA Premier Mark McGowan and WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston have launched the Western Australian Future Battery Industry Strategy to help the state become a central player in the global battery value chain.

It aims to take advantage of he increased demand for electric vehicles and energy storage systems and has been developed through close engagement with government, industry, research organisations and the community.

One of the first initiatives in the strategy that will be implemented is the development and implementation of an investment attraction strategy to further strengthen relationships with investors and manufacturers in global battery and electric vehicle supply chains.

Future battery projects will be assisted by the WA Government through an approvals process.

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The next steps for the state government include filling current and future skill gaps and facilitating access and infrastructure for technology small to medium enterprises.

Other measures include exploring initiatives to increase the uptake of batteries across the state and globally, including through the assembly, installation and management of energy storage systems.

Additionally, the WA Government will commit $6 million if it is successful in its bid to host the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in Perth.

McGowan said the unprecedented growth of the future battery industry represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Western Australia.

“Our Future Battery Industry Strategy will drive the development of the Western Australian battery materials industry that will create local jobs, contribute to skills development and economic diversification, and maximise benefits to regional communities,” he said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Western Australia to be recognised as a world-leading producer and exporter of future battery materials, technologies and expertise, with huge potential for industry growth and job creation across the battery value chain.”

Johnston said the strategy signifies the state government’s commitment to establishing a world leading, sustainable, value-adding battery industry in WA.

“The growing global demand for battery technologies presents an opportunity for Western Australia to build on its expertise in the resources industry and move further along the value chain into downstream processing activities,” Johnston said.

“Western Australia has all the battery minerals you need to make batteries and energy technologies, we also have a stable and robust economy with low sovereign-risk, and we’re world-leaders in research and development.”

WA Science Minister Dave Kelly said the strategy focuses on how the WA Government can achieve a sustainable industry that promotes local business and innovation.

“The CRC will support value chain research such as manufacturing next generation products that will bolster efficiency, reliability and safety of energy storage systems.”