“I’m pleased to see this project progressing, following my positive discussions with Albemarle’s directors during my visit to Washington this year.”
Mining lobby group AMEC has predicted the global trade in lithium batteries will soar from $165 billion to $2 trillion over the next eight years.
WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the Environment Protection Auth-ority attached conditions to its approval.
Albemarle, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is waiting on a handful of Federal approvals before it can make a final investment decision, which observers say is a formality because the plant is considered a top priority.
Albemarle’s joint venture partner at Greenbushes, China’s Tianqi Lithium, is building a $700 million processing plant at Kwinana.
The two companies spent $320 million expanding Greenbushes and are planning a further $600 million upgrade so the mine can produce 2.3 million tonnes of concentrate a year from 2021.
Other companies with downstream lithium processing plans in WA include Chile’s SQM/Kidman Resources joint venture (Kwinana), Neometals (Kalgoorlie) and Mineral Resources (Wodgina).
Source: The West Australian