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Strategic land allocated for new integrated battery material facility

Strategic land allocated for new integrated battery material facility

The WA State Government’s Industrial Lands Panel has approved IGO Limited‘s application for land in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area (SIA).

Western Australia is one step closer to being the home of Australia’s first commercially produced precursor cathode active material (PCAM).

The panel has allocated about 30 hectares to IGO and its partners for an integrated battery material facility that will produce high-value nickel-dominant PCAM.

PCAM is a form of advanced chemical manufacturing and is a key material used in lithium-ion batteries, which power cleans technologies such as electric vehicles.

The project has an estimated Capital Expenditure of between $600 million and $1 billion and aims for the integrated battery material facility to become the first to commercially produce PCAM in Australia.

The Kwinana-Rockingham SIA is one of three SIAs in WA to which the McGowan Government is allocating land for green energy projects to further strengthen and diversify the State’s economy and create local jobs for the future.

The 2023-24 State Budget will include a $35 million top-up of the Industrial Land Development Fund, taking this fund to $135 million. This top-up will be used to develop business cases and commence deconstraining activities for SIAs in the Pilbara.

WA holds the majority of Australia’s critical minerals resources, and is leading the country in large-scale investments in value-added processing, including billions of dollars worth of investment in lithium hydroxide and nickel sulphate refineries.

Using next generation technology, the project partners plan to build a globally competitive integrated facility with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability credentials.

IGO and Wyloo are committed to a carbon neutral project with a focus on ethical and sustainable creation of product. Their proposal also emphasised the project’s potential future contribution to renewable energy industries.

IGO, in conjunction 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.

The project will have an expected peak construction workforce of up to 1,200 people and approximately 250 once in operation.

State development, jobs and trade minister Roger Cook said, “We know that the Kwinana-Rockingham SIA is prime real estate for advanced industries such as PCAM.

“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.

“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.”

Mines and petroleum and energy minister Bill Johnston said, “When it comes to battery and critical minerals, Western Australia has significant competitive advantages both nationally and internationally.

“The State has welcomed more than $9 billion of investment across the sector, including the establishment of globally-significant mineral processing facilities.

“There is no better home for Australia’s first commercial PCAM producer than Western Australia. I look forward to seeing how this project helps the State move down the battery value chain and grow the industry for years to come.”

Lands minister John Carey said, “Land allocation in our Strategic Industrial Areas is one of the most effective incentives to attract investment into Western Australia to support our growing renewable energy industries.

“Projects like this proposed development will create and support a number of local jobs while continuing to diversify and strengthen Western Australia’s economy.

“Through strategic land releases, our Government is boosting emerging industries, such as battery chemical manufacturing, which have the potential to transform our economy and create skilled local jobs for generations of Western Australians to come.”

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