Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant set to expand
- Albemarle announces plans to expand its Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant to four processing trains
- Expansion will make Kemerton home to the biggest and most advanced lithium hydroxide plant in the world outside of China
- Construction to begin immediately and is expected to support a workforce of about 1,000 at its peak
The McGowan Government has welcomed Albemarle's announcement that it will expand its lithium hydroxide plant in Kemerton from two processing trains to four.
Once completed, the expansion will make the plant the biggest and most advanced lithium hydroxide processing facility outside of China.
Converting spodumene from the Greenbushes mine to battery-grade lithium, the four processing trains will give the plant a capacity of 100,000 metric tonnes per annum.
It is estimated the capital expenditure for trains three and four will be more than US$1 billion building on the capital expenditure for trains one and two, which was also more than US$1 billion.
The expansion of the plant is a boost for local jobs and businesses.
Construction is expected to begin immediately, with the first product from the expansion expected in 2026.
At its peak, construction on the expansion is expected to support a workforce of around 1,000.
Albemarle is developing a high quality, sustainable workforce accommodation precinct near Australind, at a cost of more than $140 million. Over time, the precinct will transition to a permanent residential estate.
The plant's first two processing trains have an operational workforce of 480 people, 90 per cent of whom live in the region.
Once complete, trains three and four are expected to increase the total operational workforce to 850.
The high quality, high value lithium products produced at the plant are in demand from some of the world's top manufacturers of electric vehicles, and electronic and energy storage products.
Through the implementation of its Future Battery and Critical Minerals Industries Strategy, the McGowan Government is capitalising on the State's natural competitive advantages and growing Western Australia's participation in the global battery and critical mineral supply chains.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Albemarle's lithium hydroxide plant in Kemerton is one of the best examples of what WA has to offer the world when it comes to battery and critical mineral supply chains.
"The expansion of the plant is great news for the region, the State and Australia.
"For years to come, Albemarle's lithium hydroxide plant will support local jobs, grow advanced manufacturing in the South-West and deliver economic benefits for the whole State."
Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:
"We welcome Albemarle's decision to expand its Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant and continue to invest in advanced mineral processing in WA.
"As demand for battery and critical minerals continues to increase, so does supply chain opportunities for WA.
"The WA Government is committed to making sure the State capitalises on its status as the powerhouse of the nation's battery and critical minerals sector and continues to grow its multi-billion dollar processing industry."
Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:
"Albemarle has been a lead player in the multi-billion dollar battery and critical minerals processing industry that WA has successfully established in less than a decade.
"We look forward to seeing Albemarle and the downstream processing industry continue to expand in WA.
"Guided by our Future Battery and Critical Minerals Industries Strategy, the WA Government is supporting the creation of mineral processing jobs and the development of new skills across the State."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister's office - 6552 6500
Mines and Petroleum Minister's office - 6552 6700