Albemarle is an Industry leader in Lithium, they have an extensive global footprint, exceptional resource position, production volume and capability to meet customers’ needs in Lithium –ion batteries, high strength glass, synthetic rubber and high end ceramics and cooktops as well as lubricants and pharmaceuticals

Albemarle is proposing to construct a lithium processing plant within a site of around 90ha within the Kemerton strategic Industrial area about 17 kms north of Bunbury. Albemarle will process spodumene ore from Talison mine at Greenbushes (Albemarle is a 49% shareholder in Talison mine) to produce Lithium Hydroxide.

Construction of the plant will commence in late 2018 with the aim of initial production of 20,000 tonnes per annum and projected more than 100,000 tonnes by 2025. It is estimated that the project life will exceed 25 years. As well as the processing plant itself, ancillary infrastructure will be constructed at the site to support the ongoing operation of the Plant. Existing nearby services of electricity, water supply, natural gas and telecommunications will be connected to the plant site.

The expected economic benefits for the South West region will be substantial.

  • An investment of more than $1B, the majority of which will be spent within S/W WA
  • More than 80% ongoing spend within Australia
  • Estimated 300 to 500 jobs during the construction phase
  • More than 500 jobs at full scale operation
  • An enormous multiplier effect regionally
  • Creation of numerous indirect opportunities for Australia and in particular WA
  • Generation of significant government revenue via taxes and royalties

Albemarle will ensure that all regulatory requirements are met including the rigorous environmental process. A number of studies have already been undertaken to assess impact to fauna and flora, surface and ground water, air quality and noise assessments. A full EPA and EPBC assessment has been completed and additional information requested has been provided by Albemarle which has concluded the process for impact assessment. The project is currently being assessed by EPA and DoEE.  Consultation with Government Departments commenced early in the planning process and continuing briefings have been conducted with Shire of Harvey, City of Bunbury, local business groups and the general public. One recent event in Bunbury hosted by South West Development Commission saw more than 200 participants gather to be informed regarding project requirements of Albemarle during the construction and set up phase.  Businesses are encouraged to register their interest in procurement opportunities with Albemarle by accessing the Industry Capability Network at BWEA is assisting Albemarle in several areas to ensure a coordinated a collaborative regional ‘business friendly’ approach to project development and is a point of contact within the Bunbury Geographe region for interface with the Albemarle project.