Whilst many industry experts have been promoting the idea of Australia as the next Lithium Valley, the Australian has so far pushed back on the idea of local battery production. However, this week the Federal Government has finally joined the push for Australia to become a key lithium processing and manufacturing center for lithium ion batteries.
Yesterday the Government released an Austrade report, which detailed the unique opportunity available to the nation, stating that Australia is well-placed to maximise the new lithium based opportunities which are currently driven by the global need for electric vehicles and battery storage.
Australia’s Trade Minister –Simon Birmingham said that Austrade is focusing on attracting international investment to the space by stressing the importance of Australia’ strong economic conditions, skilled workforce as well as world class infrastructure to support the mining and mineral processing industries
“At the moment Australia produces about half of the world’s lithium, but once it’s mined out of the ground, it’s shipped offshore, with all of the value-creation activities such as processing and battery manufacturing occurring overseas,”
Pilbara Minerals has already received a loan from the Federal Government, with Resources Minister Matt Canavan stating almost $20 million had been provided to Pilbara Minerals to assist with establishing access routes to the Pilbara based Pilgangoora Lithium project.
The Government is also supporting a Co-operative Research Centre to be based in WA, with various negotiations in the US underway on how Australia could supply more “critical minerals” to the country’s economy.