Nov 23, 2017 Last Updated 9:39 AM, Nov 23, 2017

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IMF gives Australia mixed review in annual economic report

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Fresh report warns of 10,000 job losses in SA’s construction sector

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Deal makes Australia key lithium supplier

AusBN – China’s biggest lithium producer has agreed to buy 100% of the lithium mined from the Mt Marion mine in Western Australia, sealing the country’s future as a key supplier to the lithium-ion battery industry.

Under the deal, Jingxi Ganfeng Lithium will acquire 25% of the project owned by Reed Industrial Metals, which is a jointly owned subsidiary of Neometals (ASX: NMT) (70%) and Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) (30%).

The Mt Marion mine is scheduled to start production next year, after which it will ramp up to a production rate of 5,500 tonnes of lithium per year.

This is more lithium than was produced in the whole of China in 2014, which has got Neometals thinking about how else Australia could get involved in the lithium battery revolution.

“Logically, the lithium value add should be able to be extended all the way through the entire battery chain, with some vision and capital,” said Simon Hicks, Neometals manager of stakeholder relations.

“If Tesla’s ideal situation is to have a factory with everything under one roof and raw materials close by – well, WA should be able to supply all of that.”

@AusBNOnline

Construction starts on $40m DeGrussa solar project

AusBN – Construction is due to start on a A$40 million solar power plant at the DeGrussa copper and gold mine near Perth, Australia.

The project will become Australia’s largest off-grid project and work on it is due to be completed next year.

More than 34,000 solar panels will be used at the plant and construction of the project will be overseen by juwi.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has committed $15 million to the project alongside Australian Renewable Energy Agencies’ $20.9 million and Neoen who are contributing the rest of the funds needed.

Sandfire, who owns the mine where the solar project will be based, has committed less than $1 million towards the project.

Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said: “We identified some time ago that solar power presented an exciting opportunity for us to participate in a low-risk renewable energy initiative at DeGrussa.

“We have no doubt that this project has the potential to be an Australian and possibly a world first — establishing DeGrussa as a reference site for the use of off-grid solar and battery storage technology in the mining industry.”

@AusBNOnline

Engie acquires SolaireDirect

AusBN –The owner of Australia’s dirtiest generator, Hazelwood power station, has acquired SolaireDirect for A$300 million.

Engie is hoping that the acquisition will help the company make the move into the renewable energy industry following Australia’s new renewable energy target.

Company CEO Gerard Mestrallet said:“Solar is becoming totally competitive.

“Solar is an energy of the future. It is the energy with the biggest potential for development. It’s no longer a subsidised niche.”

Engie will invest further $200 million into SolaireDirect to ensure the fast track development of its solar projects.

It seems likely that the company will close its Hazelwood power station, which is based in the Latrobe Valley.

@AusBNOnline

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