WA’s Battery, Minerals Strategy Set to Boost Future Jobs

Date:

  • WA Battery and Critical Minerals Strategy refreshed for 2024-2030
  • Updated strategy outlines key activities to support further development of Western Australia’s growing battery and critical minerals industries
  • Refresh developed in consultation with key stakeholders and backed by new $500 million Strategic Industries Fund investment
  • New data shows WA’s resources sector continues to outperform

The Cook Government has released Western Australia’s refreshed Battery and Critical Minerals Strategy to help guide future investment as the State pushes to become a major global player in the downstream processing of critical minerals.

Since the last refresh in 2020, WA’s value-adding battery and critical minerals industries have grown substantially. There have also been changes in the international investment environment, including significant global policy shifts in the critical minerals and renewables industries.

The refreshed strategy outlines the State’s Government’s vision to continue to grow WA’s internationally competitive, ethical and value-adding industry into 2030.

It aims to further develop the State’s industries to contribute to global decarbonisation efforts, diversify the State’s economy and deliver meaningful outcomes for regional and Aboriginal communities.

The current near-term priority actions for the State Government include:

  • creating a more efficient approvals system;
  • planning and investing in common user infrastructure; and
  • targeted support for strategically important projects.

Since the first Future Battery Industry Strategy was launched in 2019, production of critical minerals has grown, and sales for copper, cobalt, nickel and lithium have increased from $6.1 billion to $22 billion in 2023.

The refresh is supported by the Cook Government’s new $500 million Strategic Industries Fund, which will be used to prepare land for future industrial projects ensuring WA is primed for sustainable growth and development.

Funded as part of the 2024-25 State Budget, this investment will deliver common-user and other enabling infrastructure at SIAs across regional and metropolitan WA.

It comes as new data from the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety shows 2023 represented another stellar year for the State’s resources sector.

Employment in the sector was at record levels and sales on production were at a near-record of $248 billion for the calendar year.

The Cook Government also invested $36.4 million as part of this month’s State Budget to speed up approvals for job-creating projects by boosting resourcing of WA’s approvals framework. This will ensure proponents, stakeholders and Government agencies receive decisions in a timely manner.

As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“Since 2015, there has been more than $9 billion of investment in WA’s critical minerals processing industries.

“Critical minerals are the centrepiece of WA’s economic diversification story and we are working to position our State as a major global leader in downstream processing.

“This refreshed strategy was developed through consultation with key stakeholders and received more than 50 submissions following a public discussion paper released last year.

“It sets out key actions to further grow investment in the sector by playing to Western Australia’s strengths, to maximise outcomes for Western Australians.

“Right now, our priorities are a more efficient approvals system, planning and investment in commonuser infrastructure and targeted support for strategically important projects.

“My Government has now invested $500 million in a new Strategic Industries Fund to unlock the industrial land we need to get major clean energy and job-creating projects off the ground.

“We are also investing in the development of a future Critical Minerals Advanced Processing (CMAP) common-user facility for further mineral processing opportunities.”

As stated by Mines and Petroleum Minister David Michael:

“I’m pleased that Western Australia’s resources sector continues to perform strongly notwithstanding the market challenges faced by the nickel and lithium industries.

“The sector achieved another record level of employment with an average of 130,165 full-time equivalents in 2023, reflecting strong levels of mining and construction activity in the State.

“Our gold miners recorded all-time high sales of $20 billion on the back of soaring prices for the precious metal and iron ore put in another solid performance with sales of $139 billion on the back of production of 860 million tonnes, the second highest level for a single calendar year or financial year.

“WA’s mineral exploration expenditure continues to grow, reaching $2.6 billion in 2023, the highest value on record.”

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.

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