Scott Morrison, who is in Western Australian on a three-day tour of marginal seats, will announce on Wednesday that the Coalition will spend $243m on four mining projects, two of which are in regional WA.
The funding will come from the governmentâ€™s previously announced $1.3bn Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) and will go towards projects focused on critical minerals, electric vehicle and battery markets.
The largest envelope of money is $119.6m for a refinery hub in the Kalgoorlie region that will refine material for nickel manganese cobalt batteries. The project is being jointly developed by Pure Battery Technologies and Poseidon Nickel and will form part of a new $400m hub that is expected to employ 380 people during construction and 175 jobs thereafter.
Another $49m will go to a $367m project led by Australian Vanadium to process high-grade vanadium from its Meekatharra mine in WA for use in batteries.
Arafura Resources, which is headquartered in Perth, will receive $30m for a rare earth project at its Nolans project in the Northern Territory, which will create a rare earth separation plant in Australia. Rare earths are a group of 17 metals that comprise the lanthanide series of elements and which have unique properties that are in high demand in the technology industry.
Morrison will also allocate $45m to Alpha HPA and Orica for a new alumina production facility near Gladstone in Queensland that will supply high purity alumina to lithium ion battery production and LED lighting supply chains.
In a statement ahead of the announcement, Morrison said the projects would help grow â€œlocal critical minerals processing and clean energy industriesâ€ while also backing Australian manufacturing.
â€œThe $1.3bn MMI is a key part of my governmentâ€™s plan for a stronger economy and a stronger future for our country,â€ he said.
Morrison is making his first visit to WA since the stateâ€™s borders reopened, with the prime minister attempting to lift his partyâ€™s fortunes ahead of the election.
The Coalition is concerned that it could lose the marginal seats it holds in the state, where the Labor premier, Mark McGowan, is still riding high in the polls for his management of the pandemic.