The future of Australia’s lithium industry is looking positive in the face of surging global demand for batteries, according to a report released by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies earlier this week.
The report urges Australian industry and all levels of government to grasp opportunities to expand along the estimated $2 trillion lithium value chain in the next two years.
It predicts the lithium industry will rapidly reposition from a second or third-tier ore and metal processor to a first-tier, strategically important industry central to the world’s economy for at least the next two decades
It says there are plenty of opportunities for Australia to value add given the nation is not only the world’s biggest producer of lithium but that it also produces most of the other raw elements needed for lithium batteries.
The report calls for expansion downstream into processing and manufacturing, which is currently dominated by China.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston welcomed the findings of the report and said he acknowledged the importance of developing further downstream processing opportunities in WA.
"Western Australia's lithium reserves – combined with our technical skills, industry capabilities and our close proximity to the manufacturing centres in Asia – make our state well placed to capitalise on the growing needs of the battery market,” he said.
►WA Works subscribers get access to exclusive news and developments across the state’s key sectors: resources, energy, construction, infrastructure and defence. Find out more about a WA Works subscription here.