New mineral leases to play crucial part in future NT battery cathode manufacturing hub

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Image credit: Avenira's LinkedIn

The Northern Territory Government has issued mineral leases to Perth-based Avenira Ltd, which will pave the way for a lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) battery cathode manufacturing facility in the future. 

With the issuance of the mining leases, the ASX-listed company will be able to extract a bulk sample from the Wonarah phosphate deposit in the Barkly region, which will be used for testing.

If successful, the company will begin a Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) operation, as revealed in a media release.

A future stage of the project will include the construction of an LFP battery cathode manufacturing hub that will use phosphate from the Wonarah deposit. 

When fully operational, the LFP factory is expected to produce 100 jobs, expand to 1000 employees, and generate more than $4 billion in revenue yearly.

“The granting of these two mineral leases to Avenira will help to position the Territory as the next Australian home of advanced manufacturing, develop new skills and jobs, as well as support our objective to achieve a $40 billion economy by 2030,” said Chief Minister Natasha Fyles.

Meanwhile, Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison emphasised that the state must seize bold new economic prospects and overcome long-standing obstacles in order to grow its economy to $40 billion by 2030.

“The Northern Territory has what it takes to be a thriving economy with world class mineral deposits, prospective gas reserves, a strong agriculture sector, emerging information technology capabilities and strategic advantages as a location for trade and defence,” Manison noted.

Brett Clark, Avenira’s chairman and CEO, remarked how pleased he was to get the mineral leases needed for the company’s planned mining operations at Wonarah.  

“We can now proceed towards commencement of test pit activities as an interim stage to DSO production,” the CEO said.

Clark added that the Wonarah test pit will establish the logistic supply networks necessary for future DSO production and support the significant role Wonarah can play in the establishment of a downstream LFP battery cathode manufacturing facility in the state. 

The Darwin Critical Minerals Dialogue will also take place this week, bringing together key leaders and stakeholders from Australia, Japan, and the United States to discuss vital mineral production and supply chain security.