News / August 6, 2022
Lithium drives investments, workplace concerns in Australia
The demand for the raw materials in batteries has increased as sales of electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow. While China dominates the lithium supply chain, Western nations sought to develop their own production.
Australia, which is home to about half of the world’s supply, is now seen by automakers as well placed to meet the increasing demand. Mineral exploration and development company Liontown Resources has its shares increasing 76 times in just three years.
Meanwhile, a lithium plant in West Australia has been the subject of a WorkSafe investigation after complaints of unsafe working environment. The Kemerton lithium hydroxide factory, located about 150 kilometers south of Perth, was the subject of the investigation that was launched in early April after workers were exposed to toxic gases through a vent. The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has previously raised concerns about the safety of the facility, which is majority-owned by US chemical company Albermarle.
According to Geoscience Australia, all of country’s current resources and production are from lithium minerals, chiefly spodumene, though other Li-bearing minerals such as lepidolite are also present.
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