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IGO secures land for PCAM plans

14th April 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – Battery metals company IGO on Friday told shareholders that the company had secured land in Kwinana from the Western Australian government for its proposed integrated battery material (IBM) facility.

IGO, in conjunction with Wyloo Metals, is working towards making a financial investment decision (FID) on the development of the project, which involves integrating a downstream nickel refinery with a plant producing high-value nickel dominant precursor cathode active material (PCAM) for the battery supply chain.

Estimates have placed the capital cost of the project at between A$600-million and A$1-billion.

The proposed project will combine IGO’s disruptive nickel refining technology with PCAM production expertise via a low-cost and low-carbon process. The project would represent the first commercial production of PCAM in Australia and would align with the state government’s drive to grow Western Australia’s future battery industry.

The proposed IBM facility will be constructed in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) on approximately 30 ha of vacant industrial land leased from the state government. The land secured for the proposed IBM facility is located adjacent to the Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery which is owned by Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia (TLEA), a joint venture between IGO and Tianqi Lithium Corporation.

“Australia is already playing an important role in the global supply of critical minerals required as the world transitions to clean energy. We need to continue to expand our participation throughout the battery supply chain, beyond just the mining of key raw minerals, in order to capture a greater share of the value. We believe the area where Australia can be most competitive is in mid-stream battery chemical processing,” said IGO acting CEO Matt Dusci.

“We are excited about securing this site at Kwinana – a pivotal step in our ambitions to be better integrated into the battery supply chain. We strongly believe that by bringing the right partners together, we will deliver a fully optimised nickel supply chain delivering low-cost, low-carbon, responsibly produced battery chemicals for the global battery and electric vehicle industry, to be delivered through an integrated battery material facility here in Western Australia.”

“The Kwinana-Rockingham SIA is rapidly emerging as a globally significant battery material hub with existing lithium hydroxide production, established infrastructure and a skilled residential workforce.”

Key workstreams required before an FID can be made include engaging a partner with experience in PCAM production, delivery of a feasibility study in mid-2024, environmental permitting and approvals, broad stakeholder engagement and the achievement of key commercial outcomes.

IGO and Wyloo are currently advancing discussions with a global battery chemicals manufacturer which has indicated strong interest in partnering in the project. 

The project will have an expected peak construction workforce of up to 1 200 people and approximately 250 once in operation.

The state government has expressed significant support for what could be Australia’s first commercial PCAM production facility.

“We know that the Kwinana-Rockingham SIA is prime real estate for advanced industries such as PCAM,” State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook said.

“With the potential to be Australia's first commercial producer of PCAM, this integrated battery material facility is a perfect fit for the Kwinana-Rockingham SIA. As the global energy transition continues, the state government is backing projects that will help us decarbonise and set up Western Australia's economy for future success.”

Mines and Petroleum and Energy Minister Bill Johnston said that when it came to battery and critical minerals, Western Australia had significant competitive advantages both nationally and internationally.

“The state has welcomed more than A$9-billion of investment across the sector, including the establishment of globally-significant mineral processing facilities.

“There is no better home for Australia's first commercial PCAM producer than Western Australia. I look forward to seeing how this project helps the state move down the battery value chain and grow the industry for years to come.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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