Kwinana: Tianqi Lithium ticks off on stage 2 of processing plant

The Tianqi Lithium Kwinana facility. Picture: Tianqi Lithium Australia
The Tianqi Lithium Kwinana facility. Picture: Tianqi Lithium Australia

TIANQI Lithium will expand its processing plant currently under construction at Kwinana.

The project will take spodumene from the Greenbushes mine south-east of Bunbury and process and refine it into battery-grade lithium hydroxide for export.

Construction on the $400 million Stage 1 started in October 2016, with an initial production capacity of 24,000 tonnes per year.

The Tianqi board has now approved a $300 million second stage for the project, doubling the annual capacity to 48,000 tonnes.

Approvals for the project are already in place and completion is expected in late 2019.

Stage 2 is expected to start construction immediately, extending work for the existing pool of up to 500 construction workers working on the current project.

Permanent positions on the completed processing plant are expected to grow from more than 115 to more than 175 as part of the expansion.

Tianqi owns 51 per cent of Talison Lithium, which operates the Greenbushes mine, and is investing its share of $300 million to double production at Greenbushes to support the Kwinana facility, supporting 200 construction jobs and creating up to 60 new operational positions.

Premier Mark McGowan said demand for lithium continues to grow, fuelled by its use in renewable energy storage and electric car batteries.

“Combining work at the processing plant and the mine, the growth in Tianqi’s operations is expected to create more than 735 construction and operational jobs for workers in Perth’s south and WA’s South-West,” he said.

“This is great news for WA and I thank Tianqi Lithium for its investment in our State.”

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