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WA Leads The Charge In Battery Minerals

How do decarbonisation, electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and smart devices benefit Western Australia? They all involve modern li-ion battery production using minerals sourced in the state. WA has the components for modern battery technology, especially lithium. Lithium is an integral component of li-ion batteries, used in everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.

Just a decade ago, WA had just one lithium mine in operation. Now, our world-class resources sector, geographical proximity to Asian end-users, and around $4 billion investment in lithium production, means WA leads the lithium value chain. In fact, it now contributes to over 50 percent of the world’s lithium supply.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies forecast that the global lithium value chain will be valued at $2 trillion by 2025. However, most downstream value-adding activities like refining and battery manufacturing currently occur in Asia, which seems a missed opportunity for WA. Around 90 percent of Australian battery minerals are refined in China, and China produces half of the world’s li-ion batteries.

But WA has unique competitive advantages, and is ready to play a bigger piece in this value chain. By investing in domestic refining facilities and battery manufacturing, WA can advance to the centre of the lithium supply chain, and foster a new wave of clean energy technology.

Some WA lithium producers are taking the lead – investing in battery-grade lithium hydroxide production, thus ensuring this step in the refining process happens in WA. An example is the near complete Tianqi lithium plant in Kwinana, which will be the largest lithium hydroxide plant in the world. A further four refineries are planned for WA in the next five years. Moreover, the Government has put $25 million of Commonwealth funding to top up the $6 million contribution from the McGowan Government to fund the Future Battery Industries Co-operative Research Centre (FBICRC) in Perth. The mandate of the FBICRC is to grow Australia’s competitiveness in the global battery industries value chain.

Our state has potential to become a significant manufacturing hub for li-ion batteries and battery packs, for global automotive and grid-scale markets, through partnering with leading Asian and Western manufacturing businesses.

 

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Accountants

2nd-Deloitte530
3rd-PwC510
4th-KPMG472
5th-RSM288
6th-BDO180
106 accountants ranked by number of accountants (including partners) in WA

Full-time in-house consultants

6th↑PwC163
7th↑AccentureNFP
8th↓KPMG146
9th-Velrada140
10th↑PeopleSense by Altius80
184 consulting firms ranked by number of full-time WA inhouse consultants

Corporate finance employees

8th↑Hartleys11
9th-Regency CorporateNFP
10th↓KPMG9
11th-Macquarie Capital9
12th↑RSM8
83 corporate finance ranked by staff in corporate finance area (WA)

Insolvency professionals

6th↑BRI Ferrier Western AustraliaNFP
7th↑McGrathNicol15
8th↑Pitcher Partners18
9th↑KPMG12
44 insolvency practitioners ranked by number of professional staff working in insolvency (WA)

Number of Employees

Accountants

2ndPwC600
3rdDeloitte570
4thKPMG515
5thRSM402
6thBDO215

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Special Report

Great for the State - Edition 2: The Future of Energy

Great for the State - Edition 2: The Future of Energy

07 May 2019

This edition highlights how Western Australia is powering the world into the future, with gas, lithium, hydrogen, and advancements in use of small power networks all part of the state’s strengths. Communities such as Bridgetown and Kwinana stand to benefit from the global move towards batteries for storing energy and powering vehicles, while there’s research under way to advance WA’s capability to move downstream along the value chain. We’ve also explored some of the developments in hydrogen. Business News wants to celebrate the entrepreneurs, the researchers and the leaders who make our state the envy of the world, so our Great for the State series has no paywall.

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