Mining and Heavy Industries

Tianqi Lithium produces Australia’s first battery grade lithium hydroxide

lithium processing

Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia, a joint venture between IGO and Tianqi Lithium, has produced Australia’s first battery-grade lithium hydroxide at its Kwinana plant.

Lithium hydroxide produced at the WA-plant will be exported overseas and used in the production of high energy density batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

Tianqi’s plant is one of the few battery-grade lithium hydroxide facilities outside of China.

It employs 200 staff at the Kwinana plant, and is expected to reach commercial production in the coming months once product qualification is achieved, with a nameplate capacity of 24,000 tonnes.

More than 900 jobs were created during the construction of Train 1, with further local employment expected when construction of Train 2 recommences.

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WA State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook said the state has been exporting the minerals needed to make batteries for decades and the milestone demonstrates its ability to manufacture battery-grade materials locally.

“It’s great to see this burgeoning industry making Kwinana its home, further reinforcing the importance of the Industrial Area and the Western Trade Coast in positioning WA as a Global Advanced Industries Hub,” he said.

“Not only is Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia’s Kwinana plant helping to diversify our economy, it has created 200 jobs for Western Australians.”

The next step in the plant’s ramp-up process is customer qualification, which will be completed over the next four to eight months. During this time, the plant will continue to focus on stable, consistent, and reliable production of battery-grade lithium.

TLK Chief Operating Officer Raj Surendran said the organisation is immensely proud to demonstrate that Australia can value add to its minerals onshore.

“This is an exciting time for our shareholders, suppliers and service providers who have contributed to the construction and ramp-up of the Kwinana Plant, and our employees who have worked so hard to turn the dream of producing battery-grade lithium hydroxide in Australia into a reality,” Surendran said.

“The City of Kwinana and the Western Australian and Australian Governments have been incredibly supportive of this project, and we thank them sincerely.

“However, we also remain acutely aware that there is more work to do to establish the Kwinana plant as a reliable, significant producer of battery-grade lithium, starting with customer acceptance.”

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