Covalent Lithium has secured land for the construction of the Kwinana lithium refinery in the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area (SIA), Western Australia (WA).

A lease agreement for the 40ha site in SIA, 15km south of Fremantle Port, for the refinery has been signed with the state government.

WA State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook: “The Kwinana SIA is already home to major chemical, energy and resource-based processing operations.

“The investment by Covalent Lithium reinforces the importance of the government’s commitment to establishing a globally advanced manufacturing hub for the industrial corridor between Henderson and Rockingham.”

The Kwinana refinery will be equipped to produce around 50,000t of lithium hydroxide each year. This would annually support up to one million electric vehicles.

It forms part of the integrated Mount Holland Lithium project, which also includes the development of the open-pit Mt Holland mine and concentrator for producing battery quality lithium hydroxide.

WA Lands Minister Tony Buti: “The Kwinana SIA sits in the heart of the State’s premier heavy industrial zone, with access to the Fremantle Port and major road and rail networks.”

Covalent Lithium, a 50:50 JV of Wesfarmers and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), is responsible for the development of the Mount Holland Lithium project.

The Mount Holland Lithium project is expected to create 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and 350 operational jobs.

The project is planned to commence production in the second half of 2024.