Lithium-ion batteries are predominantly used in electronic items such as mobile phones and laptops, electric vehicles, and used to store energy created from renewable energy sources like solar and wind. It’s no wonder that the demand for lithium is increasing across the world as all these markets continue to rise.
For example, in the energy market, renewable energy now surpasses coal to be the largest source of global electricity capacity, whilst the automotive industry is increasingly turning electric, absorbing 50% of lithium battery output in 2016, up from just 7% in 2012.
The top lithium producing country in the world is currently Australia, with Chile coming a close second and Argentina third. Most countries that produce lithium are increasing production as well. In 2016, global lithium production increased 12% year on year in response to demand.
Find out more about lithium in our lithium infographic.
Australia has over 1.6 million MT of identified lithium reserves, and with demand increasing lithium projects are starting to surge in the country, creating lithium mining jobs for locals and global contractors alike. Western Australia alone had only one lithium producing mine last year, but could be home to as many as seven by 2018.
Below we look at some of the current lithium mining and production facilities already based in Australia as well as some of the future projects set to come online.
Current Lithium Projects in Australia
Mt Marion mine
, near Kalgoorlie-Boulder in WA, started construction in September 2015 and recently shipped its first 15,000 tonnes to China to go towards creating batteries. The mine is expected to produce 400,000
tonnes per annum at full capacity.
mine near Ravensthorpe in WA, which is a recommissioned mine, has a planned production of 160,000
tonnes this year and shipped 10,000 tonnes in January 2017 via the port of Esperance.
in south west W, is an open pit mine operating since the 1980s and considered one of the world’s highest-grade lithium mine. Recently had AU$320 million green-lit for expansion
. Capacity is said to reach 1.34m tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum once a second production facility is completed in 2019. Considered the biggest lithium mine in the world.
Upcoming Lithium Projects in Australia
lithium deposit near Southern Cross, WA. A joint venture
between Kidman Resources and Chilean company SQM. The companies have also agreed to develop a proposed downstream lithium refinery underpinned by the Mt Holland deposit.
open pit lithium mine projects, 120km from Port Hedland in West Australia. Both companies Altura
and Plbara Minerals
have projects there. Pilbara Minerals have recently taken a final investment decision on the project and the first shipment is expected for Q2 2018
processing plant, built by Tianqi Lithium and set to cost AU$400 million, the plant will create 600
jobs and have the capacity to produce roughly 24,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year.
Bald Hill Mine
, which is a planned restart mine 50 kilometres of Kambalda after positive resource drilling revealed lithium and tantalum pegmatites. It is expected to produce 155,000 tonnes of lithium spodumene concentrate per year beginning in Q1 2018
, the proposed
Lithium-ion ‘gigafactory’ in Darwin, Northern Territory, which would create one gigawatt of battery cells per year and would create hundreds of jobs long-term.
A planned Lithium-ion battery ‘gigafactory’ in Townsville
, Queensland, creating 7,000
jobs, which is currently in the feasibility
Lithium mining jobs in Australia with NES Global Talent
NES Global Talent is a global tier one supplier (prime vendor) to major lithium miners around the world, providing key staffing services to both lithium extraction operations and processing facilities.
Example lithium mining vacancies in WA, Australia include:
- Project management
- Mechanical engineering
- Instrumentation and controls
- Cost control analytics
- Reliability design engineering
If you have experience in the mining industry in Australia, fill the form in below and a specialist from our Australian mining division will contact you about lithium specific projects.