Kibaran Resources’ (ASX:KNL) proposed battery graphite processing centre just got a major boost from the Western Australian government.

Premier Mark McGowan is backing the project. The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation will provide “lead agency support” to Kibaran.

Additionally, LandCorp is currently allocating a 6.7 hectare site in Kwinana for the project.

McGowan endorsed the project, saying it aligned with the government’s Future Battery Industry Strategy. WA is the world’s leader in lithium production and has among the world’s largest reserves of most major battery metals.

The government does not just want to be a miner, it wants to take part in the entire supply chain, including manufacturing and exporting the finished product.

Kibaran managing director Andrew Spinks welcomed the government’s support saying it would help the company secure remaining pre-development approvals and conclude negotiations with stakeholders.

The plant will cost US$22.8m ($33.5m) up front, but its pre-tax net present value is US$141m.

The company expects to make a final decision early next year and if it goes ahead, first production will occur in 2021.

Shares were unchanged this morning.

In other ASX battery metals news today:

Speaking of funding, Alpha HPA (ASX:A4N) received a $400,000 grant from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC). The money will go towards the completion of its first pilot plant and followed due diligence by the AMGC on its project. “Alpha’s technology promises to increase our industry’s position in the global market place in lithium-ion battery manufacturing and helps Australia to add more value to its commodities,” AMGC managing director Jens Goennemann said.

You might know Toro Energy (ASX:TOR) better as a uranium miner but it has a potentially viable vanadium by-product at its Wiluna project. Test work resulted in vanadium recoveries of up to 87.5 per cent, without decreasing uranium recoveries. Toro will now estimate the vanadium resource present in its project.

Namibian focused Golden Deeps (ASX:GED) has extended vanadium mineralisation at its Abenab project. Shallow reverse circulation drilling returned 2m at 1.42 per cent vanadium as well as 3.33 per cent lead and 1.15 per cent zinc. Chairman Michael Minosora said the latest results would potentially extend the life of initial operations at the project.

Koppar Resources (ASX:KRX) has completed the purchase of a German lithium project, called Vulcan. At Vulcan, lithium hydroxide will be produced from brines pumped into wells instead of hard-rock mining. While it aims to be the world’s first carbon lithium project there has not yet been enough exploration to estimate a mineral resource.