Western Australia is one of the most abundant mineral provinces on Earth, with over 50 different minerals, 500 commercial projects and almost 1000 operating mine sites. Nine of the world’s top 50 mineral projects are based in Western Australia, including 6 of the world’s 10 highest value projects.
The sector is underpinned by a culture of innovation and development, from cutting-edge technology (traditional software applications, remote control technologies, real-time integrations and 3D mine design) to autonomous mining (the world’s largest fleet of automated mining trucks and the world’s first automated heavy-haul, long-distance rail system).
With rich reserves of the critical minerals needed in the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies such as rechargeable batteries, Western Australia is positioning itself as a key link in the global renewable energy supply chain. Through the Future Battery Industry Strategy the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre, located at Perth’s Curtin University, is also helping to build a competitive future battery industry in Australia. As well as facilitating R&D partnerships between industry, academia, government and the research community, it’s rolling out targeted education and training programs to develop the skills and expertise needed to grow battery-related minerals industries, manufacturing, battery deployment and recycling.
Incentives, grants and support
- There are several state government grants and funding schemes for eligible businesses and individuals wanting to do great things in the critical mining sector, including the A$10 million per year Exploration Incentive Scheme.
- The Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia provides grants and scholarships to support eligible applied minerals research projects.
- Support is also available from Invest & Trade Western Australia
Global chemical manufacturing company Albermarle Corporation is constructing a processing plant at Kemerton, south of Perth that will produce lithium hydroxide for use in the electrification of transport, ceramics, glass, pharmaceuticals and other products.