A key report calling for further state and federal backing has been delivered today to Federal Resources Minister – Matt Canavan. The Resources 2030 Taskforce report says that it is crucial that the government assist the private sector in advancing the downstream processing industry for battery minerals such as lithium and nickel, in an effort to boost the next generation of high-tech jobs and add additional revenue into the Australian economy.
The report urges the government to develop “strategic plans” to ensure that the new energy boom is maximized by processing our mined commodities and creating higher value products such as lithium-ion batteries. This sentiment is shared by WA’s lithium and nickel producers, who have been asking for Federal Government support to establish a technology and manufacturing hub in Western Australia, with some experts labeling the state “lithium valley”.
The Western Australian government have already established a state-level task force responsible for developing these ideas further, however, the Resources 2030 report says the Federal Government should also work towards the same outcome in order to maximize results.
“The benefit to Australia of large-scale resources development has been enormous and there’s weight behind the argument to extend this beyond just extraction and into infrastructure development and commercial downstream processing,” the report says.
Senator Canavan has responded to the report, stating that more needs to be done for the future of mining in the state.
“The mining boom is not over,” he said. “However, the task force’s report shows that future opportunities will not fall into our lap. We cannot let complacency turn into a missed opportunity.”