Battery Research Gets A Boost In Australia As A Mineral Processing Dispute Simmers In Malaysia

Australia’s plan to position itself as a leader in the provision of metals used to generate renewable energy and battery storage of electricity took another step forward earlier today even as low-key “technology metals” dispute with near-neighbor Malaysia simmered in the background.

The new industries, which have the potential to one day rival Australia’s controversial position as a top coal exporter, will be the focus of a new research center backed by the Australian Government and 58 industry partners.

Called the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Center it will be housed at Curtin University in the Western Australian capital city of Perth.

Multinational Interest

Companies participating include the Chinese-based lithium producer Tianqi Lithium, the nickel-mining division of BHP Group, the French technology company Dassault Systemes, and the Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources.

Collectively, industry participants will contribute $80 million. The Australian Government will provide $18 million with the funds being used to pay 40 post-graduate students who will work on three primary research projects.

The Minister for Science, Karen Andrews, listed the projects as battery industry development, the processing of minerals and metals and materials for batteries, and the development of new battery storage systems.