Profiling the Greenbushes lithium mine in Western Australia – by Andrew Fawthrop (NS Energy – April 17, 2021)

NS Energy

Western Australia’s vast Greenbushes lithium mine is the world’s largest operation to extract hard rock deposits of the mineral critical to the energy transition

At the southern tip of Western Australia, around 250 kilometres south of Perth, lies the Greenbushes lithium mine – the world’s largest project to extract the increasingly critical mineral driving the clean energy transition.

The operation, which claims its name from a nearby town, is owned by Talison Lithium, a joint venture between China’s Tianqi Lithium and US chemicals firm Albemarle – although recent reports have emerged that the Chinese producer is seeking to offload some of its 51% stake in the project amid financial difficulties.

Lithium has emerged as a key commodity in the clean energy transition, used particularly in rechargeable batteries and other electrical components thanks to its high electrochemical reactivity.

With demand for the mineral set to soar as low-carbon technologies grow more advanced and widely-deployed, the Greenbushes lithium mine in Australia, which has an estimated 40-year project life, stands to provide key energy markets with the resources they need to innovate.

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