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WA establishes battery taskforce

30th November 2020

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Western Australian government on Monday named the members for its Future Battery Industry taskforce who will actively explore global opportunities to grow the state's critical minerals industry.

The taskforce includes 19 mining companies, industry bodies and union groups, including BHP Nickel West, Lynas, Independence Group, Northern Minerals, Pilbara Minerals, Albemarle Lithium, Australian Vanadium, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec), the Australian Manufacturing Worker’s Union, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy for Western Australia (CME) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, besides others.

"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,” said Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.

He pointed out that Western Australia had all the minerals required to make lithium-ion batteries, which are predominantly used in electric vehicles, mobile phones, laptops and cameras.

The CME welcomed the Ministerial taskforce, with CEO Paul Everingham saying the taskforce would help drive the development of a Western Australian battery materials sector that was already a major player internationally and had the opportunity to become an even more important part of the global supply chain.

“It’s widely publicised that Western Australia has an abundance of materials used in battery production, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, vanadium and rare earths.

“As the demand for batteries, particularly those used in electric vehicles – continues to grow, so too will the demand increase for these minerals being produced in Western Australia.

“This taskforce will play an important role by identifying opportunities that will further grow this emerging battery materials sector, creating significant job opportunities for Western Australians as the state’s recovery from Covid-19 continues.

“It will also assess opportunities for Western Australia to advance its place in the global supply chain by doing more downstream processing,” Everingham said.

Meanwhile, the state government's Future Battery Industry Strategy has also been recharged to ensure Western Australia's capabilities are identified in the battery and critical minerals supply chain space.

The boosted strategy will harness the opportunities presented by critical minerals and rare earth elements, which are required to manufacture defence technologies, wind turbines and solar panels, and aeroplane engines and alloys.

"The updated Future Battery Industry Strategy will cement Western Australia as a premier provider of minerals and materials, and a leader in technological expertise,” Johnston said on Monday.

Additionally, the state government is continuing its search to attract a global precursor or cathode active materials manufacturer to the state, following a A$13.2-million commitment announced in the Western Australian Recovery Plan.

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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