Work to begin on lithium hydroxide processing plant in WA

The Albemarle Corporation will soon begin work on its lithium hydroxide manufacturing plant in the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area.

Kemerton, in Western Australia, is a large strategic industrial area designed for major downstream processing industries that add value to the region’s primary resources.

The plant, to be constructed on an 89-hectare site, has approval to process spodumene ore concentrate from the Talison Lithium Greenbushes mine, through five process trains.

It is expected to produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of lithium hydroxide.

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With earthworks underway, development approval for construction of plant infrastructure will be sought from the Southern JDAP early in the new year.

The Albemarle Kemerton Plant will create more than 500 construction jobs and an initial 100 operational jobs, increasing to 500 at full operational capacity.

Commissioning of the Kemerton Plant is expected to begin in 2021.

The government of Western Australia is committed to creating and securing jobs and it will work with Albemarle to maximise the benefit of the project for the South-West region.

Acting premier Roger Cook said he is pleased that the state government could facilitate the necessary approvals to allow Albemarle to begin bulk earthworks at the Kemerton site.

“This initiative paves the way for additional downstream processing industries to be established in Kemerton in the future, which will mean more jobs for regional Western Australia.

“The announcement of the Albemarle Kemerton Plant underscored the importance of Strategic Industrial Areas.

“The Kemerton SIA is the largest in the South-West region, and is already home to Kemerton Power Station and major established industries including Simcoa Operations and Cristal,” said Cook.

“Albemarle would see the Kemerton SIA play a crucial role in growing and supporting a major growth industry for Western Australia,” he said.