Western Australia is one step closer to being the home of Australia’s first commercially produced precursor cathode active material (PCAM), with the State Government’s Industrial Lands Panel approving IGO Limited’s application for land in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area (SIA).
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 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.
The State Government is committed to harnessing the competitive advantages provided by an established mining and mineral processing industry to further support value-add opportunities for our battery and critical minerals that will help deliver a smarter, more sustainable and diversified economy for Western Australians.
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 with the potential to be Australia’s first commercial producer of PCAM, the 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.”