Western Australia names taskforce to supercharge battery manufacturing plans

by John Shepherd
Energy minister Bill Johnston (left) at Perth community PowerBank launch earlier this year. Photo: Twitter
Western Australia has named industry leaders who will spearhead a ‘Future Battery Industry Strategy’ ministerial taskforce – as plans were confirmed to encourage a global lithium-ion battery player to set up a manufacturing business in the state.

Energy, mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnston said the taskforce, which includes mining companies, industry bodies and union groups, has been tasked with growing WA’s "critical minerals industry”.

Meanwhile, the state government said it was "continuing its search to attract a global precursor or cathode active materials manufacturer to the state” – supported by an AUD 13.2m (£7.3m) investment commitment announced as part of an economic recovery plan.

"WA has all the minerals required to make lithium-ion batteries,” the state said.

'Critical minerals industry'

Johnston said: "Developing the future battery and critical minerals industry will create jobs and diversify the economy, which is particularly important to support our state's recovery post-Covid-19.”

"The updated Future Battery Industry Strategy will cement WA as a premier provider of minerals and materials, and a leader in technological expertise.”

Taskforce members include Albermarle Lithium, EcoGraf, Tianqi Lithium Australia and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.

EcoGraf said its invitation to join was in recognition of the company’s contribution towards increasing WA’s role in the global battery supply chain.

Last October, EcoGraf said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean lithium-ion battery recycler, SungEel Hitech, for a project to "close the carbon loop” and expand the collection and reuse of battery materials.

Related articles in our archive: