Tesla has entered into a deal with Kidman Resources (Kidman) for 5,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year for 3 years.
The deal follows the 4th of May announcement that Western Australia Lithium (WAL), Kidman’s 50:50 joint venture with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), had entered into an exclusive option to lease a premier site in the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area in Western Australia.
The construction of the lithium refinery in Kwinana is expected to start in mid-2019. It will produce about 40,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate and/or lithium hydroxide from the mineral processed at the proposed mine and concentrator at Mt Holland in Western Australia.
Western Australia is the world's largest producer of lithium and the State is now cementing itself as an investment destination for downstream processing.
Kidman’s Managing Director and CEO, Martin Donohue said: “The Western Australia Government, both at a department and ministerial level, have been highly supportive of the Mt Holland Project from the beginning, and the Premier shares our vision of making Western Australia an investment destination for the downstream processing of lithium.”
With its reserves of battery minerals, technical skills and close proximity to Asia, Western Australia is well-placed to capitalise on the growing battery market.
WA’s recently released State Budget includes $5.5 million to the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), to support development and manufacturing of technology metals and renewable energy sources.
Premier Mark McGowan said: "The State Government will continue to support the development of renewable energy technologies, and the $5.5 million in provisional funds will be made available to the MRIWA if it is successful in the bid to establish a New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre in WA."
To read more about global battery revolution and Western Australia’s role in it click here.