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Kwinana to get first commercial producer of advanced battery material

IGO Limited has been given the green light to build an integrated battery material facility in Kwinana, with the Western Australian government approving the application for land in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area. The Industrial Lands Panel has allocated approximately 30 hectares to IGO and its partners for the proposed facility that will commercially produce high-value nickel dominant precursor cathode active material (PCAM). This will be a first for Australia, as PCAM is a form of advanced chemical manufacturing and is a key material used in lithium-ion batteries, which power clean technologies such as electric vehicles.

The facility is expected to create up to 1200 construction jobs and around 250 operational jobs. The project has an estimated capital expenditure of between AUD 600 million and AUD 1 billion. IGO, in collaboration with Wyloo Metals, is working towards making a financial investment decision, which remains subject to engaging a PCAM partner on the project, delivery of a feasibility study in the second half of 2024, environmental permitting and approvals, broad stakeholder engagement, and achievement of commercial metrics.

“We strongly believe that by bringing the right partners together, we will deliver a fully optimised nickel supply chain delivering low-cost, low-carbon, responsibly produced battery chemicals for the global battery and electric vehicle industry, to be delivered through an integrated battery material facility here in Western Australia,” said IGO’s Acting CEO Matt Dusci.

State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook said, “As the global energy transition continues, the State Government is backing projects that will help us decarbonise and set up Western Australia’s economy for future success. With the potential to be Australia's first commercial producer of PCAM, this integrated battery material facility is a perfect fit for the Kwinana-Rockingham SIA.”

The State Government has been proactive in supporting the development of new battery technologies, which is seen as a key driver of Western Australia’s future economic growth. The government has recently announced a AUD 50 million Future Battery Industry Strategy, which includes funding to support the development of new battery technologies and to position the state as a leading producer of future battery materials.

The project is expected to further boost Western Australia's position as a global leader in the mining and production of battery minerals, with the state already home to some of the world's largest lithium mines. The new facility will enable the state to add value to its raw materials, rather than simply exporting them, and will help to secure the state's position in the global battery supply chain.

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