Demand for battery minerals will create a boom in Western Australia “bigger and more sustained” than the state’s gold boom of the 1990s, predicts one of Australia’s foremost mining engineers.

Speaking at the 2018 Battery Minerals conference in Perth, Midas Engineering Group Director/Principal Consulting Engineer, Damian Connelly, said the sector was misjudging the full impact that demand for the precious commodity will have in the short to medium term.

“Make no mistake, the demand for battery minerals will create a WA boom bigger and more sustained than the gold boom of the 1990s,” Mr Connelly said.

“The market and financial institutions are underestimating the huge disruptive change and the speed of change occurring in the technology of the battery market,” he said.

“The very demanding technical specifications for battery minerals will limit the suitability of some ores.

“With cobalt, nickel, vanadium and manganese, and exciting new technology will produce the demanding pure specifications required.

“Demand is currently exceeding supply and current expansions will still lag behind for a number of years to come.”

Minerals Commodities Limited Business Development Manager, Daniel Hastings, told the conference WA will soon be well positioned to entice battery manufacturers to invest in infrastructure.

He said that WA could become the only jurisdiction in Australia and possibly the world producing all raw materials for Lithium Ion Battery production – including nickel sulphate, lithium carbonate and hydroxide, and potentially Battery Anode Material.

“We take the view – like most other companies – that the current energy revolution has just begun and the outlook for battery raw materials is extremely positive,” Mr Hastings said.

Mr Connelly agrees, warning that the sector and financial institutions needed to act fast to ensure the state maximised this potential.

“The demand for high purity battery grade lithium carbonate is expected to grow significantly in the near term,” Mr Connolly said.

“The lithium-ion battery sector is one of the fastest growing and largest consumers of lithium,” he said.

“Lithium-ion batteries have superior energy density, are more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional acid batteries and the cost is falling based on innovation and technical development.

“Demand for battery minerals in WA is expected to grow at intense levels - plans and structures put in place now will heed well for the future.”

Source: Field Public Relations

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