Wesfarmers looking ‘far and wide’ for new battery minerals investments

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Wesfarmers’ chemicals, energy and fertilisers boss Ian Hansen. Credit: supplied/supplied

Wesfarmers is looking “far and wide” for new opportunities in battery metals to augment its $1.9 billion Mt Holland lithium project now taking shape in the Eastern Goldfields and Kwinana.

The head of Wesfarmers chemicals, energy and fertilisers division, Ian Hansen, said the conglomerate was looking over both exploration and processing projects, using the team of geologists inherited with its 2019 takeover of Mt Holland’s owner, Kidman Resources.

“We have expanded that team and we are undertaking quite a bit of investigation into greenfields opportunities and also looking at some of the brownfields opportunities that others have looked at,” Mr Hansen said.

“We’re looking fairly far and wide,” he said.

Wesfarmers and its Chilean partner SQM are looking to begin production of value-adding lithium hydroxide from a new plant being built within the WA’s large chemicals production complex at Kwinana in the second half of 2024.

However, the duo’s Covalent Lithium joint venture is now planning to take advantage of elevated prices for spodumene concentrate by selling that product into the market as soon as the Mt Holland mine, near Southern Cross, is finished rather than wait for the completion of the Kwinana plant.

More to come.

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