Harvey Shire President Tania Jackson is still confident Albemarle will maintain interest in building a lithium refinery in the region despite a facility being announced for Kalgoorlie.

Last week the Western Australian Government announced it would lease WA land to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for a new lithium hydroxide facility for 21 years with an option for a further 21 years.

Cr Jackson said Albemarle was still interested in building a facility in the Kemerton Industrial Park in order to refine the raw lithium product spogemine it mines in Greenbushes.

“We have some of the highest quality spogemine in the world,” Cr Jackson said.

Albemarle’s proposed plans for the site are currently being assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority.

Despite the delays, Cr Jackson said she was happy knowing best practice was a priority.

“I’m very happy with the stringent process to protect the environment,” she said.

She said in the meantime the company had submitted work approvals to the council.

“While the shire will treat these applications on their own merits, I know Albemarle are working to meet all the requirements,” she said.

More than 300 people attended an information session Albemarle held at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre last month, and the company is already seeking expressions of interest from local suppliers in anticipation of construction beginning on the site later this year.

“They’re preparing so they can hit the ground running once they get approval,” Cr Jackson said.