Lithium boost for port

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Port Hedland’s port was at the centre of an economic spotlight as the future of the region was discussed at last month’s New Pilbara Conference.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia chief economist Rick Newnham said the growth of lithium production in the region would kickstart a new era of resource boom coming through the port.

“It’s going to be an enormously large market, of which WA is already the world’s leading producer for lithium, and we will play a major role in catering that market in the future,” he said.

“So much so that Malcolm Turnbull has already labelled lithium as the new iron ore for the region.

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“So there’s going to be enormous focus on that and enormous potential.”

Mr Newnham also presented the audience with data from an unpublished report which showed the value of the port now and into the future.

“There’s going to be a significant increase in value through that port having unrestrained export potential, and this is the value that we see going on to that,” he said.

“Not only does the port play a significant role in the Pilbara but it plays a significant role in adding value and prosperity to the rest of the country, which is the story that we need to continue to tell over east.”

The study excerpt which Mr Newnham showed identified a $32 billion potential gross domestic product revenue for Australia over the study period, with an average of $3.2 billion per annum, in regards to the Port Hedland port.

The study, which was undertaken by ACIL Allen consulting, will be published in the coming months.

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