Call to process lithium here

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple and Pilbara candidate Brent John McKenna in Karratha.
Camera IconGreens Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple and Pilbara candidate Brent John McKenna in Karratha. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr.

The State Government needs to lay down the groundwork now to enable downstream processing from lithium mining in order to avoid missing the boat again, according to the Pilbara’s Greens candidate.

In lamenting the lack of value-added industry associated with the Pilbara’s iron ore and natural gas booms, Pilbara Greens candidate Brent McKenna said the State needed to start thinking now about how it would benefit from lithium mining.

“We should be thinking about using our lithium resources to make batteries locally,” he said.“That’s a relatively long-term ambition but with the opening of a gigafactory in the US we can actually see that those things can happen. This region is about to become a major source for lithium, so we can start making factories here but we have to start planning now.”

State Development Minister Bill Marmion did not respond to requests for comment.

WA Premier Colin Barnett has previously talked up the Government’s efforts to attract downstream processing.

Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple said beneficiating lithium in the Pilbara would be economically viable.

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