The Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre’s (FBICRC) Cathode Precursor Production pilot plant has been launched to establish the technology and capabilities for Australia to design and build cathode precursor manufacturing facilities on a commercial and industrial scale.

The Western Australian Government has welcomed the launch of the pilot plant in Curtin University in Bentley.

Cathode precursors are a crucial element of the battery value chain and include nickel, cobalt, manganese, graphite and lithium. Together with graphite, aluminium and copper, Western Australia produces all the elements needed for modern batteries.

The Australian-first pilot plant will help educate and upskill the next generation of chemical and process engineers to support the growing battery and critical minerals industries.

The FBICRC’s report Future Charge: Building Australia’s Battery Industries proposed that establishing an active materials manufacturing program could deliver $1 billion to the economy and support 4,800 jobs by 2030.

Through the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia and Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, the State Government has contributed $6 million towards establishing the FBICRC.

The State Government has also committed $13.2 million to facilitate global investment in precursor cathode manufacturing in Western Australia.

Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister, Bill Johnston, said the government was committed to growing and diversifying the state’s mining industry. 

“Launching the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre’s precursor production pilot plant is an exciting step forward for Western Australia’s burgeoning battery materials manufacturing industry,” Mr Johnston said. 

“Western Australia isn’t just famous for having all the minerals you need to make a battery, we also have the capabilities to progress down the value chain and grow our battery manufacturing and downstream processing industries.”

Image courtesy of FBICRC and hrt. 

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