According to Business News, Wesfarmers have announced construction of the Mt Holland lithium mine and a Kwinana refinery will begin next year, with the green light given to the mine development.
The project was originally slated for a final investment decision in January 2020, but became one of numerous lithium developments delayed or downsized when the price of the battery-making commodity fell.
This approval is for the mine segment of the project, with full funding to be committed after environmental approval of the refinery, due early next year. Current timelines estimate construction of the mine and refinery will begin in the first half of next year, with production to commence in the second half of 2024.
“The project capitalises on our chemicals, energy and fertilisers divisions’ chemical processing expertise and Western Australia's unique position to support growing global demand for electric vehicle battery materials, which will make a crucial contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We have been pleased with progress of discussions with key battery manufacturers, which reflect a positive outlook for battery quality sustainably sourced lithium hydroxide.” - Rob Scott, chief executive, Wesfarmers.