Australia is the world’s biggest supplier of lithium and we have every metal needed to make a lithium battery in Australia. But we still send most of our battery metals overseas without local manufacturing getting much of a role.
Because of the need to develop capacity to store renewable energy, along with the growth in electric cars, and smart devices the Association of Mining and Exploring Companies estimates that the global Lithium value chain will grow from $160 billion in 2018 to $2 trillion in 2025.
There’s no reason why Australian manufacturing workers can’t refine more of our battery metals and also make batteries here.
We can be a country that makes more things.
At the moment there are a few companies investing around Australia to refine battery metals and establish battery manufacturing facilities. This includes investments like BHP’s nickel refinery; Tianqi’s Lithium processing plant in Kwinana; the Sonnen battery plant in Adelaide; and Energy Renaissance’s battery plant planned for Darwin.
We want to support them to take the next step to move further down the supply chain.
State and territory Governments like Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory are developing their own battery metal manufacturing strategies.
Federal Labor will partner with these states and territories to support further growth in battery metal processing and battery manufacture.
Labor will supercharge Australia’s battery metal manufacturing industry by getting Austrade to develop a Manufacturing, Export and Investment Strategy - starting with a review of the future of battery metal extraction and advanced processing.
Labor will also make research into battery metal processing and battery manufacture a funding priority for the Australian Research Council (ARC).
This will be further supported by Labor’s $1 billion Australian Manufacturing Future Fund and the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility as well as the Australian Investment Guarantee.
This implements recommendation 15 from the Federal Government’s Resources 2030 Taskforce report into Australia’s resources industry.
We will pay for it by making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.