WA will be able to produce precursor chemicals for battery cathodes but won't be able to drive the production process much further, a new report into the lithium battery supply chain claims.
The report, released in Perth on Friday by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA and Australian Venture Consultants, hosed down suggestions WA could become a hub of battery manufacturing.
The report said WA mines most of the metals needed for the nickel- manganese-cobalt lithium-ion batteries emerging as the dominant design for electric vehicles.
However, because countries like China, Japan and South Korea have been making lithium-ion batteries for two decades at a lower cost than Australia it was unfeasible it could break into the global market.
The speakers at the report's launch echoed those sentiments and said the state should aim to develop the precursor chemicals for battery cathodes, which would still extract a lot of value from the lithium-rich rocks miners pull out of WA dirt and bring plenty of high-paying white-collar jobs.