If all goes to plan, the Western Australian government will have, by November 2018, recommendations to take advantage of the lithium-ion battery boom.
A taskforce of senior government representatives will assess the opportunities by engaging with companies and a lithium industry reference group.
Plans have already been announced by several mining companies to process lithium and other minerals into materials lithium hydroxide, lithium carbonate and nickel sulphate. WA has deposits of minerals essential for lithium-ion batteries such as copper, cobalt, manganese and graphite.
State Mines Minister Bill Johnston believes the taskforce is the first step to positioning Western Australia to add value to mining, with downstream processing of lithium and related minerals to create thousands of highly skilled jobs, and for WA to be a world leader in new energy materials.
The State Government has already committed over 5 million dollars to the Minerals Research Institute of WA to apply for a Co-operative Research Centre for New Energy Industry in WA, aimed at developing commercial opportunities within the sector.