By Robyn Molloy

WA is well positioned to benefit from current and new opportunities as global demand for lithium is set to triple from 2018 levels by 2025 on the back of increasing world demand for electric vehicles.

New research commissioned by CCI to assess the competitiveness of WA in the global value chain found that demand for other minerals used in the production of batteries including nickel and cobalt was also set to increase.

WA has the potential to take on emerging opportunities for technical grade lithium hydroxide and nickel sulphate and establish the state as a major large-scale source of high quality technical grade material for the battery supply chain.

“When you consider producing lithium hydroxide and nickel sulphate you are crossing that barrier from minerals and starting to move into chemical production. It is a big step forward for WA’s role in the supply chain,” Chief Economist Rick Newnham said.

“WA is obviously an attractive destination, but we can’t take this for granted.

“We have kept the State Government updated on our research with a view to developing policies that ensure we are making the most of our competitive advantages.

“WA isn’t the only jurisdiction looking to capitalise on opportunities in the battery value chain. This is a hotly contested space, so we need to ensure the state remains competitive and continues to be an attractive investment destination.”

CCI partnered with CME, BHP Nickel West, Neometals, Synergy and the City of Kwinana on the industry-led research. It has been presented to the State Government’s Lithium and Energy Materials taskforce which is responsible for developing a strategy to ensure the industry delivers long-term benefits to West Australians.

The research consulted multiple battery commodity producers, including lithium, nickel producers, as well as lithium hydroxide producers, manufacturers, market analysts and government agencies.

CCI CEO Chris Rodwell and CME CEO Paul Everingham will discuss the current and emerging opportunities in the lithium value chain as part of its WA’s Future Series on November 2.

A panel discussion and audience Q&A, facilitated by CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham, will include:

  • Eduard Haegel, Asset President, BHP Nickel West
  • Rob Cole, Chairman, Synergy
  • Chris Reed, Managing Director, Neometals
  • Carol Adams, Mayor of the City of Kwinana
  • Russell Barnett, Partner, Australian Venture Consultants.

Find out more about exciting opportunities for WA to capitalise on the lithium battery value chain on November 2 at The Westin.