Albemarle Corporation has commenced site works associated with the construction of a lithium hydroxide manufacturing plant in the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area, Western Australia.
The plant will process spodumene ore concentrate sourced from the Talison Lithium Greenbushes operations.
Albemarle says the Kemerton plant will have an initial capacity of 60,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide production annually, with an ability to expand to 100,000 tonnes. It’s expected commissioning of the Kemerton site will occur during 2021, and in stages.
While it may not be quite the mining boom seen in the past, the world’s burgeoning EV and solar battery industry is helping to provide a brighter future for WA – and the state’s lithium deposits are playing a significant role in that.
At least seven lithium mines are now operating in the state. Lithium mines in WA employed 400 people just a few years ago and approximately 2,600 now.
According to a report published in October last year, Australia is currently the largest producer of lithium, in a market that is expected to jump six-fold out to 2027 as global demand for EV batteries grows.