FBI battery research centre clears first hurdle 

9th October 2018

It was announced today that the application for the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBI CRC) was one of six to be shortlisted for the next round, which is good news for the Australian mining sector.

 "Western Australia currently mines over 60% of the world’s supply of lithium and has all of the other minerals needed to make lithium-ion batteries. This makes Western Australia the natural choice to locate the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre.” said Warren Pearce, Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’(AMEC) Chief Executive Officer.

“Although, it is proposed to base the Co-operative Research Centre in Perth, the work will support development of this industry across Australia, ensuring all State and Territories have the opportunity to participate in this exciting new industry.”

The bid, if successful, will see Perth as the home of the FBI CRC headquarters, supported by an investment of $5.5 million by the State Government. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the fast growing Australian battery minerals industry, and one that will have a flow on effects for the entire Australian economy, providing new jobs, and significant economic benefits,” said Mr Pearce.

The second stage of the submission process involves a comprehensive business case for consideration by the CRC Advisory Committee. FBI CRC chairperson-elect Tim Shanahan and other members of the bid team, will present in person to the committee in Canberra in early 2019.
Across Government support for development and research at both a Federal and at a State level was a key recommendation in a report released by AMEC earlier this year – see here. The report considered how the development of the lithium and battery minerals industry could be supported in Western Australia.


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AMEC is the peak national industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia.

Recommendations from the AMEC report: A Path Forward: Supporting the development of a Lithium and Battery Minerals Industry in Western Australia.

The report made the following recommendations for the Commonwealth Government, State Government and Industry to undertake:

  • Leadership;
    o Federal Government Priority: Federal Government announce battery minerals processing as an Australian Industry priority for AusTrade and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science;
    o State Government Strategy: WA State Government announce a strategic focus on battery minerals extraction and processing, and publish their plan to support the development of the battery mineral processing industry in Western Australia;
    o Identify Lead Minister: The WA Government identify a Minister and Department responsible for leading this initiative within Government.

  • Investment Attraction;
    o Develop focused attraction strategies: Identify expansion opportunities for companies that are leading anode, cathode and battery manufacturers and develop focused strategies to attract them to Australia;
    o Lead Trade Delegations: Lead a Federal and State Ministerial trade mission to China, South Korea and Japan to promote and attract investment to Western Australia;
    o Bring companies to WA: Extend formal invitation for battery manufacturers to visit Western Australia, and work with local industry to support these visits.

  • Planning and Coordination;
    o Identify and designate Battery Precincts: Identify and designate sites as battery precincts, for processing and for Western Australia to provide certainty and transparency;
    o Co-ordination of development: Planning of Government attraction to ensure that the necessary precursor materials consolidate to support the attraction of companies further down the value chain;
    o Prioritise Battery mineral projects: Give battery precursor facilities and battery assembly the highest priority under the Lead Agency Framework.

  • State Agreements;
    o Utilise State Agreements: The WA Government consider employing a State Agreement for companies manufacturing battery grade precursor material and creating batteries for significant projects.

  • Financial Incentives;
    o Monitoring our Competitors: Government and industry to monitor the actions of our international competitors and assess the need for financial incentives at both a State and Federal level, as well as the anticipated return on investment.

  • Research.
    o Economic Assessment: Government should undertake an Economic Feasibility Study into the potential for domestic battery manufacture and the resulting economic benefits for Australia, building on the research work already being done;
    o Research & Development: State and Federal Government support the New Energy Industry CRC bid.