Gov’t lauds US investment in WA critical minerals processing capacity

Image credit: Albemarle Corporation

Australia is set to cement its position as a global power in the international critical minerals industry with a massive investment from Albemarle Corporation

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King has welcomed the company’s recent announcement to construct two more processing trains at its lithium hydroxide plant in Kemerton, south of Perth. 

The $1.5 billion investment from the US-based company reflects Australia’s growing importance in the international critical minerals industry and highlights Western Australia’s role in the worldwide effort to achieve net zero, the minister said in a media release

The project marks the biggest investment by any company in the downstream manufacturing of lithium in Australia and would make Albermarle the largest producer of lithium in the country. 

“Global demand for resources like critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and battery technologies is increasing as the world moves to decarbonise, and Australia has remarkable potential to meet this demand,” said Minister King. 

The investment will also allow the additional supply of spodumene from the Greenbushes mine for processing at Kemerton. 

Work on the processing trains is expected to begin immediately and will employ approximately 1,000 workers at the peak of construction, bringing significant opportunities for local businesses. 

“With its wealth of resources, positive investment settings and highly skilled workforce, Australia is well placed to become a renewable energy superpower,” Minister King said.