- Tianqi Lithium Australia to build lithium processing plant in Kwinana
- $400 million project to create up to 620 jobs
The State Government has welcomed a decision by Tianqi Lithium Australia to build a $400 million lithium processing plant in Kwinana.
State Development Minister Bill Marmion said the project was expected to create up to 500 jobs during the two-year construction and more than 115 jobs once the project was operational.
"Demand for lithium is increasing rapidly thanks to its growing use for renewable energy storage and electric car batteries," Mr Marmion said.
"While Western Australia has been mining and exporting lithium for more than 25 years, this project introduces value-adding secondary processing into the local supply chain.
"This is very positive news for growing the State's economy as we seek to take a greater role in processing our raw materials to produce higher value products."
Lands Minister Terry Redman said Tianqi had secured an option to lease 20 hectares of land from LandCorp within the State's premier industrial precinct, the Western Trade Coast.
"The Western Trade Coast is already home to a highly diverse range of operations and industries, including defence, oil and gas, and manufacturing," Mr Redman said.
"By locating within this precinct, Tianqi Lithium Australia will be in close proximity to all the necessary infrastructure and services in order for their project to succeed.
"I was pleased to learn of the project's approval by the Metropolitan South-West Joint Development Assessment Panel last week."
Construction of the plant is expected to start next month and be completed towards the end of 2018, with a capacity of 24,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year.
The Department of State Development is assisting Tianqi Lithium Australia as it proceeds through further approval processes for the project.
Tianqi Lithium Australia owns 51% of Talison Lithium, which operates the Greenbushes mine south-west of Bunbury
Production at Greenbushes is expected to expand to support the new Kwinana facility
In 2014-15, WA produced lithium, tantalum and tin worth $143 million