EPA recommends approval for South West lithium manufacturing plant

Release date: 
15 June 2018

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Chair Dr Tom Hatton has recommended approval of a lithium hydroxide product manufacturing plant in an industrial area on the outskirts of Bunbury.

Releasing the EPA’s environmental impact assessment for Albemarle Lithium Pty Ltd’s (Albemarle) Albemarle Kemerton Plant, Dr Hatton said the proposal was environmentally acceptable and could proceed, subject to certain conditions.

“Following a comprehensive environmental assessment process, we concluded this manufacturing plant proposal could proceed, subject to a flora and vegetation monitoring and management plan to minimise the potential impact on threatened flora and fauna, most notably Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo,

Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Baudin’s Black Cockatoo,” Dr Hatton said.

“Albemarle will also be required to develop a water management plan, to ensure quality and quantity of offsite surface and groundwater is maintained throughout construction and operation of the plant, as well as an offset strategy and greenhouse gas reporting.”

The Albemarle Kemerton Plant is planned to be located within the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area and will have a maximum disturbance footprint of 89.25 hectares (ha) (comprising 54.31 ha of native vegetation and 33.39 ha of pine plantation) to construct the plant, associated infrastructure and a service corridor to provide road access from Marriott Road, as well as electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunications.

The Albemarle Kemerton Plant aims to process spodumene ore concentrate, through five process trains, to produce up to 100,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide product and up to 200,000 tonnes of sodium sulfate by-product per year.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 29 June 2018. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au.

The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.

EPA Report 1618 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au.

ENDS

Media Contact: Vivienne Ryan on 0400 866 450

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