$11 million allocated to scale-up battery manufacture

Photo: VSPC

Six projects will share in more than $11 million in funding to develop Australia’s critical minerals industry in order to scale-up the manufacture of battery technologies.

“The projects being funded involve unlocking ground-breaking new ways to produce materials for advanced batteries, including batteries which could power trams,” Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said.

Nanotechnology company VSPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia, will receive $1.6 million to develop advanced, fast-charging nano-engineered batteries to power a new generation of trams, without the need for overhead power lines.

The work is being funded via the CRC program. Other successful projects include:

  • $2.5 million to develop a process to produce battery grade nickel and cobalt sulphates.
  • $2.4 million to optimise processing of pyrite ore to produce battery grade cobalt and sulfur.
  • $2.2 million to generate products such as cobalt salts and value added mixed-metal lithium ion battery precursors.
  • $1.3 million to refine the critical mineral spodumene to produce lithium battery chemicals.
  • $1.2 million to recover vanadium to 99.95% purity for vanadium redox battery applications.

“Developing Australia’s critical minerals industry is vital to Australia’s economic growth and these projects recognise the enormous opportunity to create new jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“Value-adding to the critical minerals which we have in abundance in this country has obvious economic benefits, but is also essential as we look to scale-up the battery technologies which can help us transition to new fuel sources.”

The federal government is investing in developing the critical minerals sector by finding new ways to provide financial support to projects, investing in research and through last month’s  opening of the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office.