Western Australia has a strategic advantage in the global demand for lithium. The State continues to position itself as a battery minerals hub due to its proximity to key markets, shorter construction and ramp-up times, and relatively low capital costs. As of September 2021, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety in Western Australia reported the following lithium mining statistics:

  • $938 million in sales value 
  • 1,627,771 tonnes sold 
  • 1846 full-time employees 
  • $4675 million in investment projects 
  • 1st in the production world ranking 
  • 5% royalty rate 

In this Global Road Technology article, we discuss lithium prospectivity, supply, lithium mines, and lithium resources in Western Australia.

Lithium prospectivity of Western Australia 

Western Australia’s lithium resources are ranked fourth globally with Liontown Resources recently doubling the resource at the Kathleen Valley project to 157 Mt at 1.4% Li2O and 130 ppm Ta2O5. Lithium is used as a component of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Its mining and production have been driven by the growth of electric vehicles and energy storage system markets. Lithium minerals in Western Australia occur in pegmatites and include:

  • spodumene
  • lepidolite 
  • zinnwaldite 
  • petalite 
  • holmquistite 

Western Australia as a lithium supplier

The State is the largest supplier of lithium, producing high-quality spodumene concentrate from four operating mines. Production remained steady in 2020-21, with 1.6Mt of lithium concentrate produced from open-pit mines:

  • Greenbushes 
  • Mt Marion
  • Pilgangoora 
  • Mt Cattlin

Bald Hill and Wodgina remain in care and maintenance.

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Recent lithium mines and those under construction in Western Australia

First lithium hydroxide has recently been produced from the Tianqi and IGO Kwinana plant as part of the commissioning of Train 1. Albemarle’s Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant is under construction. Both Kwinana and Kemerton plants will source spodumene from the Greenbushes mine. Covalent Lithium, a Westfarmers/SQ joint venture has proposed a third lithium refinery for Kwinana to process ore from Mt Holland. Several other lithium projects are advancing. A definitive feasibility study was recently completed for the Kathleen Valley project. A scoping study for Dome North recently commenced, and new discovery and a maiden resource were announced for the Marble Bar Lithium Project.

Lithium resources in Western Australia ranked by contained Li2O (kt)

These different projects have different resource dates from 2018 to 2021 with the oldest being Mt Holland in March 2018 and the latest in June 2021 at the Pilgangoora Project. The table below sums up different projects with lithium resources (Mt) in Western Australia. 


Project  Status  Owner  Resources (Mt)
Greenbushes Operating Albemarle Corporation / Tianqi Lithium / IGO 196.8
Pilgangoora Operating Pilbara Minerals 309.0
Wodgina Operating Albermarle Corporation/Mineral Resources 259.2
Mt Holland Feasibility Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile S.A./Wesfarmers 189.0
Kathleen Valley Feasibility Liontown Resources 156.0
Mt Marion Operating Mineral Resources 72.9
Bald Hill Feasibility Alita Resources 26.5
Buldania Exploration Liontown Resources 15.0
Pioneer Dome Exploration Essential Metals 11.2
Mt Cattlin Operating Orocobre 11.0
Marble Bar Exploration Global Lithium Resources 10.5

Global Road Technology helps you comply with lithium mine dust legislation  

We are dust control specialists that understand the importance of dust control compliance for lithium mines in Western Australia and across all jurisdictions in Australia. Through our mine-specific solutions we help you deploy dust control systems (SMART equipment and various products) that help you deal with the fugitive dust in the following areas of your lithium mine:

  • Temporary and permanent haul roads
  • Run of mine (ROM)
  • Stockpiles 
  • Drill and blast 
  • Transportation

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