Major miners enlist in battery industry taskforce

Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

BHP Nickel West, IGO and Lynas Corporation have joined Western Australia’s Future Battery Industry taskforce to enhance the state’s critical minerals industry.

The taskforce includes mining companies, industry bodies and union groups to expand local and global opportunities within the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

Western Australia has the necessary minerals to create lithium-ion batteries for uses in electric vehicles, mobile phones, laptops and cameras.

This serves as part of the state’s Future Battery Industry Strategy, which outlines Western Australia’s capability in battery and critical minerals supply chains for uses in wind turbines, solar panels, defence technologies and aeroplane engines and alloys.

Western Australia’s Mines and Petroleum Minister bill Johnson said the Future Battery Industry Ministerial Taskforce would help grow the economy and create jobs.

“I’m excited to announce the members of the Future Battery Industry Ministerial Taskforce, who will actively explore global opportunities to grow our state’s critical minerals industry,” he said.

“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.

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

Other miners that are part of the taskforce include Albemarle Lithium, Australian Vanadium, Pilbara Minerals and Northern Minerals.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) is also part of the taskforce and has welcomed the announcement.

CME chief executive Paul Everingham said demand for minerals used in battery production would increase alongside the demand in electric vehicles.

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

“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.”

Everingham also said the taskforce would allow Western Australia to  tap in to the global supply chain through downstream processing.

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