Lithium mining in Perth, Western Australia

Lithium mining in Perth, Western Australia

Lithium mining in Perth, Western Australia

From all indications, Perth and the rest of Western Australia is set for global recognition. There are talks about “Lithium Valley” in Perth, a hub for the world’s new giant in battery materials and technology. Lithium mining in WA is already booming and the vision is to make the region a centre of battery mining and manufacturing excellence.

If plans go as envisioned, Perth is not only going to be important for the global industry, it is going to be the centre. Unlike in the last few years when China’s appetite for Lithium was driving the industry, the target is now the global market and this is going to have a reasonable impact on the economy of Western Australia and the Mining Industry in particular. There are reports that suggest that if things are executed the right way, significant new prosperity for Western Australia and about 100,000 new jobs could be created.

For the mining industry, the current Lithium boom means more prosperity. The demand for the lithium and other metals used in battery manufacturing is surging continuously. A few years back, there were fewer mining operations in Perth. At the moment, there are more mining operations and the trend is expected to keep growing. The industry will certainly employ more people to help at the mining sites as well as in different other capacities including transportation and administrative duties.

Moving away from the mining operations, Lithium refinery is another sub-sector with great potentials. Plans are already in place to establish one of the world’s biggest lithium refineries south of Perth. The project is set to be a joint venture between an Australian company, Kidman Resources and Chilean company, Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM). The Multi-million dollars refinery will be situated in Kwinana and will produce up to 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide each year. Another refinery is set to be launched by a Chinese company, Tianqi Lithium, yet in Kwinana. It is a $400 million dollars refinery that will equally create lots of jobs. There are other new companies coming in as well as existing miners (like Neometals) building downstream processing plants.

As the world continues to move towards sustainable energy sources, the demand for lithium will continue to grow. Electric vehicles are taking over from fossil-fuelled vehicles and there is a need for more batteries to power these cars and other electronic devices. In the coming years, the demand for Lithium batteries will continue to grow: Perth and the rest of Western Australia have the opportunity to champion the global industry. The potentials are endless.