Prominent lithium miner Albemarle has reportedly secured environmental approval from the Western Australian government for its planned Kemerton lithium facility. As per trusted sources, the new facility would be located about 17 kilometers northeast of Bunbury in Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area.

Reportedly, the plant would produce up to 100,000 tons of lithium hydroxide by processing spodumene ore concentrate through five process trains. People familiar with the development claim that spodumene ore required for the facility would be obtained from Greenbushes project of Talison Lithium. For the uninitiated, Talison is a joint venture between Chinese lithium producer Tianqi Lithium (51 percent) and Albemarle (49 percent).

Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan was reportedly quoted stating that the government’s priority is to create jobs and diversify the economy in Western Australia and significant milestones such as Kemerton project boost the efforts in enhancing the overall economy of the region.

The state of Western Australia is the foremost producer of lithium in the world and has an ample supply of lithium and other battery materials which makes it imperative to leverage the opportunity provided by both upstream and downstream mining industry to the residents of the region, McGowan further added.

According to a report published by The West Australian, Albemarle has been awaiting a handful of other Federal approvals before it could make a final investment decision. Reportedly, the approvals are a formality as the project is being considered a top priority.

The Kemerton facility is slated to create more than 500 construction jobs once it reaches full operational capacity. However, 100 jobs would be created in the initial phase, cite sources.  Reportedly, the facility would be the second-largest lithium hydroxide manufacturing plant in Western Australia in the next two years.

Reportedly, mining lobby group AMEC has projected that the global trade in lithium batteries will increase from the current USD 165 billion to USD 2 trillion in the upcoming eight years.