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Works begin at site of new WA lithium hydroxide processing plant

Works have commenced at the site of a future lithium hydroxide processing plant at Kemerton, near Bunbury in Western Australia, following state government approvals.

Abermarle Corporation’s plant will be located in the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area, the South-West’s largest strategic industrial area, which is designed for major downstream processing industries that add value to the region’s primary resources.

The plant, to be constructed on an 89 hectare site, has approval to process spodumene ore concentrate from the Talison Lithium Greenbushes mine, through five process trains. It is expected to produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of lithium hydroxide.

“The site earthworks at Kemerton today are on track with our projections,” said Eric Norris, Albemarle president of lithium.

“Achieving this milestone underscores our commitment and confidence in developing LiOH operations in Western Australia and in our overall strategy to drive significant shareholder value and meet our customers’ demands.”

“I am pleased that the State Government could facilitate the necessary approvals to allow Albemarle to begin bulk earthworks at the Kemerton site,” said WA’s acting premier, Roger Cook.

“The commencement of construction by Albemarle demonstrates the benefits presented to the South-West and the State by the Government’s investment in Kemerton.”

With earthworks underway, development approval for construction of plant infrastructure will be sought from the Southern JDAP early in the new year.

The Albemarle Kemerton Plant will create more than 500 construction jobs and an initial 100 operational jobs, increasing to 500 at full operational capacity. Commissioning of the Kemerton Plant is expected to begin in 2021.

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