Environmental Protection Authority has recommended approval of Albermarle Lithium Pty Ltd’s Kemerton Plant, located 12km south of Bunbury.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment, who will make the final decision, was open for a two-week public appeal period and closed on 29 June 2018.
The Albemarle Kemerton Plant is planned to be located within the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area and will have a maximum disturbance footprint of 89.25 hectares (ha) (comprising 54.31 ha of native vegetation and 33.39 ha of pine plantation) to construct the plant, associated infrastructure and a service corridor to provide road access from Marriott Road, as well as electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunications.
The company aims to process spodumene ore concentrate, through five process trains, to produce up to 100,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide product and up to 200,000 tonnes of sodium sulfate by-product per year.
The EPA said that following a comprehensive environmental assessment process, it was concluded the manufacturing plant proposal could proceed, subject to environmental conditions.
Albemarle will be required to develop a water management plan, to ensure quality and quantity of off-site surface and groundwater is maintained throughout construction and operation of the plant, as well as an offset strategy and greenhouse gas reporting.
The project would most likely be constructed in stages with each train taking about 18 months to complete.