Government awards Major Project Status to Kalgoorlie Nickel project

Joint media release with the Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction the Hon Angus Taylor MP and Member for O'Connor Mr Rick Wilson MP

A new critical minerals mine and processing plant in Kalgoorlie will be given Major Project Status in a move by the Morrison Government to streamline approvals and coordination and bring thousands of jobs to the Eastern Goldfields region.

The $1.165 billion Kalgoorlie Nickel Project will produce cobalt-nickel ore which will undergo a process to produce Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate, which is used as raw material in the growing international battery market. 

Projects awarded Major Project Status have access to extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including having a single-entry point for Australian Government approvals, project support and coordination.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said declaring Major Project Status would bring the operation to life sooner.

“With 1,500 jobs each year for the three-year construction and 500 jobs a year for the 25-year operation, this Project is a major project and will get every support possible from my Government,” the Prime Minister said.

“It’s projects like this that help build a stronger economy and secure a stronger future for the region and for WA.

“With the project in its early phases now, declaring it a Major Project will get more tradies on site, and more workers into town sooner.”

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Morrison Government was backing local industries which were investing in and supporting technologies to help Australia and the rest of the world meet emissions reduction targets.

“This proposed facility has huge potential to contribute to the growing international demand for lithium-ion battery minerals that will underpin a range of emerging clean energy applications, including electric vehicles and everyday items such as smart phones and laptops,” Minister Taylor said.

“Unlike Labor, the Morrison Government is supporting a balanced approach to driving down emissions that will generate new jobs and not tear them down, all the while keeping power prices low for households and businesses.

“The Morrison Government recognises the enormous economic growth and job opportunities these projects provide for regional Australia. We have now granted Major Project Status to 12 significant critical minerals projects across Australia which will inject more than $8.7 billion into our economy and support over 7,500 construction jobs and over 3,800 ongoing.”

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said granting Major Project Status for the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project was another step forward for Australia playing a major role in the global critical minerals market, which is expected to grow exponentially over the coming decades. 

“This project directly contributes to our Critical Minerals Strategy by increasing the supply of highly sought-after materials for the lithium-ion battery supply chain and has the potential to boost Australia’s sovereign capability,” Minister Pitt said. 

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said he welcomed significant projects like the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project that bring jobs and investment to the Goldfields region. 

“Providing support to this project will help boost Australia’s position in the global critical minerals processing industry and add to regional WA’s reputation as a major contributor to the nation’s booming resource sector,” Mr Wilson said.

Today’s commitment follows a $119.6 million investment by the Morrison Government this week to build an integrated Nickel Manganese Cobalt battery material refinery hub in the Kalgoorlie region – the first facility of its kind anywhere in Australia.

Major Project Status still requires the project to meet all relevant Commonwealth and State regulatory approval processes.

More information on the Major Projects Facilitation Agency and the full list of current major projects is available on the Major Projects Facilitation Agency website.

Media contacts: 

Minister Taylor's office: 02 6277 7120

Minister Pitt's office: 02 6277 7180