The Morrison Government is backing manufacturers in Western Australia to grow their business, create more jobs and compete internationally as part its plan for a strong economy and stronger future.

Eight innovative WA business will share in $61.5 million of funding under Round 2 of the Integration and Translation Streams of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).

Successful recipients include $20 million to Pilbara Minerals for its Sustainable Lithium Chemical Concentration project, which it will develop in partnership with technology company Calix.

The project aims to establish a new method of extracting and producing a superior lithium product. The demonstration-scale plant, located onsite at the Pilgangoora Mine, will produce a high-purity lithium phosphate product, intended to be refined directly into battery materials, significantly increasing the value of Australian critical mineral exports.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Western Australia plays a key role in Australia’s manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing plays a critical role to the modern Australian economy. It is a key part of almost every supply chain and adds significant value to all sectors. Manufacturing plays a critical role to Western Australia adding more than $16 billion in value to the state’s economy, employing 84,000 people,” Minister Taylor said.

“Through our Modern Manufacturing Initiative we’re backing businesses like OncroRes Medical, which is being supported with up to $4 million to develop world-leading new medical imaging technology to support surgeons by accurately facilitating detection of residual tumour during breast cancer surgery. This would provide the surgeon and the patient confidence that no residual cancer remains and reduce the risk of requiring further surgery.

“This kind of surgery is the treatment of choice for most of the 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer globally each year. This project supports critical manufacturing and late-stage commercialisation activities to enable OncoRes to translate this great innovation from proof-of-concept through to TGA registration, Australian commercialisation and clinical trial.

“We know that through manufacturing, Australia has a vibrant capability to drive jobs and skills, realise economic growth and developing new products and services to improve the lives of Australians.”

Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash said these grants are going to a number of innovative businesses in WA. Some are involved in the resources sector which is the backbone of the WA economy but what this also shows is that WA companies are innovative in manufacturing across a number of sectors. The Morrison Government always strongly backs WA's innovative manufacturing sector.

Other recipients who will share in this funding include:

  • Up to $3.2 million for custom metal and plastics parts manufacturer Adarsh Australia to establish a production line capable of pulping and treating wastepaper and cardboard materials and subsequent moulding with 3D printing technology into numerous packaging materials for the food and medical sectors.
  • Up to $4.2 million for Alba Edible Oils to support the domestic manufacturing of its new product, Bare Oil. The patented product is produced in a unique way where there are no harmful chemicals used and is naturally crushed and purified.
  • Up to $4.7 million to Metso Australia which is investing in its Australian service capabilities by building a new service centre in the Pilbara region. The Pilbara Regional Service Centre (PRSC) will be equipped with new technologies and larger-scale equipment to provide agile delivery of services allowing local mining operations to overcome interruptions and shut-downs within a shorter timeframe. The selected location will provide swift delivery of equipment repairs, act as a base for field services and hold inventory for customer-critical wear and spare parts.
  • Up to $3.4 million for Striker Australia to establish a manufacturing facility to build crushing and screening equipment currently imported from Asia. It will enable Striker to supply the mining, resources, recycling sectors with up to 50 Australian-made machines each year.
  • Up to $20 million for Lynas Rare Earths to support the first true commercial production of rare earths in Australia. This funding for the Apatite Leach Circuit will support Lynas’ efforts to further extract the rare earths in the Mt Weld deposit and increase the production of the Kalgoorlie Rare Earth Processing Facility. The Apatite Leach Circuit aims to maximise the significant rare earth resource at the Mt Weld deposit by developing and implementing a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable technology, which allows increased proportions of apatite to be processed.

A further two Western Australian companies have received funding under the second round of the Morrison Government’s Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) to address vulnerabilities identified in the supply chains of critical products and continue to build domestic manufacturing capability.

This includes $2 million for Coogee Chemicals, which will receive up to $2 million to build a new chlorine bottling facility in Kemerton, Western Australia, to supply chlorine to the domestic market from locally manufactured chlorine. The facility will have the ability to de-gas, inspect, maintain and re-fill drums and cylinders.

Malaga based company Water Treatment Services has also been awarded $2 million to upgrade its specialised chemical manufacturing facility to enable the production of chlorine dioxide, helping to secure local supply of a crucial water treatment chemical and supporting the business’ expansion into new sectors and domestic and export markets.

Minister Taylor said the Morrison Government is working with Australian businesses to ensure critical services and supplies are maintained.

“Our investments are not only about shoring up our supply chain resilience, but they are building our resilience to future shocks and also helping to grow industries and the local jobs that flow from them,” Minister Taylor said.

“This election is a choice between a Coalition Government which delivers a strong economy that enables investment in Australian manufacturing capability, or a Labor-Greens government that will weaken the manufacturing sector by making Australia a harder place to do business with higher taxes and higher energy costs.”

The SCRI and MMI are a key part of the Morrison Government’s $2.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy which is helping Australian manufacturing scale-up, become more competitive and resilient, driving jobs and skills, realising economic growth and developing new products and services to improve the lives of Australians.