Australia ‘too far behind’ to make EV batteries: lithium giant – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – September 19, 2022)

Albemarle boss Kent Masters says it will be hard for Australia to make the leap from mining key ingredients to making batteries for electric vehicles.

That’s despite the company having just built one of the world’s biggest and most advanced lithium hydroxide plants – estimated to have cost more than $2 billion – at an industrial park south of Perth.

The chairman and chief executive of the US-based global battery minerals giant said Australia was coming from a long way behind and faced an uphill battle to ever make batteries in the absence of a carmaking industry.

His comments echo those of Wesfarmers, which plans to go as far as mining battery minerals and producing lithium hydroxide. However, Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources and Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals have said they believe Australia can become a force in battery production with backing from the likes of Elon Musk’s Tesla and other carmakers.

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