TIANQI PLEDGES $300M TO PLANT
Chinese company Tianqi has invested a further $300 million into its new Kwinana lithium processing facility, which is being heralded as a boost to the local economy and a job creator.
Tianqi has already started construction on stage one and is due to be completed in mid-2018 at a cost of $400 million.
As anticipated in the Telegraph last month, the lithium giant’s board unanimously signed off to start stage two.
Australia’s first-ever lithium hydroxide processing plant will process spodumene from Tianqi’s Greenbushes mine in the South West for use in lithium ion batteries, electric vehicles and other electronics.
Tianqi’s Australian general manager Phil Thick said the decision on stage two was a vote of confidence in the company’s operations in WA.
“Ordering of components and equipment for stage two will start in earnest now and the Kwinana processing plant site is expected to remain a hive of activity with stage one creating 500 local jobs which will continue under stage two,” he said.
“Long-term permanent jobs at the plant will increase from 115 to 170 and we are set to maintain our 80-85 per cent local content materials target.”
Tianqi chairman Jiang Weiping and chief executive Vivian Wu also visited the site last month.
Stage two is scheduled to be completed towards the end of 2019.
Premier Mark McGowan said Tianqi’s decision would create more jobs locally.
“Combining work at the processing plant and the mine, the growth in Tianqi’s operations is expected to create more than 735 construction and operational jobs for workers in Perth’s south and WA’s South West,” he said.
Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tony Solin said Tianqi’s presence in the region would have potential knock-on benefits for local businesses.