May 8 (Renewables Now) - Western Australia Lithium, a 50/50 joint venture between Kidman Resources Ltd (ASX:KDR) and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, has decided to build its planned lithium refinery in Kwinana, Western Australia.
The company has signed an agreement with Western Australian land authority LandCorp for an option to lease a site in the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area, according to announcements by the state government and Kidman. The option is for 24 months during which time a final lease agreement will be completed. Feasibility studies for the refinery will be published in late 2018. Construction on the facility is expected to start in mid-2019 and to create 400 jobs. Commissioning is planned for 2021. An additional 150 jobs will be created in operation, while the company's lithium mine and concentrator at Mt Holland will create about 300 construction jobs and 150 positions during the operational phase.
The refinery will produce about 40,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate and/or lithium hydroxide.
Kidman said the site selection is a major step in its strategy of establishing itself as a ASX-listed integrated producer of battery-grade refined lithium.
The Western Australian government also announced that the state budget will include provisional funding of AUD 5.5 million (USD 4.1m/EUR 3.5m) towards developing battery technologies.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.747/EUR 0.628)