Lithium industry charge building

THE announcement of a third lithium refinery for the Kwinana industrial strip south of Perth is the latest in a string of good news for those hoping to create a lithium-focused industry hub in Western Australia.

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A map showing the proposed site of the WA Lithium refinery.

Western Australia Lithium, a 50-50 joint venture between Kidman Resources and Chilean chemical giant SQM, has entered into an exclusive option with WA land authority Landcorp to lease a site in Kwinana for its refinery.

Those three refineries mean, on paper at least because only one is in construction, that WA could be turning out about 112,000t of lithium hydroxide a year. That number could go to almost 200,000tpa if the Albemarle plan comes off.

Then there are Mineral Resources and Neometals, which are eyeing up lithium hydroxide plants of their own.

MinRes is looking at a potential 50,000tpa to 100,000tpa lithium carbonate or hydroxide plant at its Wodgina mine.

It said that plant would use about 350,000tpa to 700,000tpa of spodumene concentrate tha...

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