Western Australia growing exports of future battery materials

Western Australia is set to grow as a leading exporter of future battery minerals, materials, technologies and expertise.

Increased demand for electric vehicles and energy storage systems has created an opportunity for Western Australia to become a central player in the global battery value chain.

On January 31, the government of Western Australia launched the Western Australian Future Battery Industry Strategy to increase exporting opportunities.

Premier Mark McGowan said the unprecedented growth of the future battery industry represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Western Australia.

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“[The strategy] will drive the development of the Western Australian battery materials industry that will create local jobs, contribute to skills development and economic diversification, and maximise benefits to regional communities.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Western Australia to be recognised as a world-leading producer and exporter of future battery materials, technologies and expertise, with huge potential for industry growth and job creation across the battery value chain,” said McGowan.

Western Australia is a large producer of lithium and a leading producer of other battery metals including nickel, cobalt and rare earths.

One of the first initiatives of the strategy is to further develop and strengthen relationships with investors and manufacturers in global battery and electric vehicle supply chains.

The next steps for the government include filling current and future skill gaps, and facilitating access to infrastructure and funding for technology SMEs.

Other measures include exploring initiatives to increase the uptake of batteries across the state and globally. These include opportunities through assembly, installation and management of energy storage systems.

Additionally, the government will commit $6m if it is successful in its bid to host the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre in Perth.

Mines and Petroleum minister Bill Johnston said the strategy signifies a commitment to establishing a world-leading, sustainable, value-adding battery industry in Western Australia.

“The growing global demand for battery technologies presents an opportunity for Western Australia to build on its expertise in the resources industry and move further along the value chain into downstream processing activities.

“Western Australia has all the battery minerals you need to make batteries and energy technologies, we also have a stable and robust economy with low sovereign-risk, and we’re world-leaders in research and development,” said Johnston.