”There’s a whole lot of speculative curiosity in lithium … however as we mentioned on the outset this can be a long-term undertaking,” he says.

Shifts within the exterior atmosphere have mattered far lower than the adjustments made by Wesfarmers and SQM to the undertaking itself to offer larger certainty on engineering design and enhance capability at Kwinana by 11 per cent to 50,000 tonnes a yr. The three way partnership may also make investments to make sure it may shortly double capability at a later date.

There’s nonetheless a protracted technique to go right here – development begins within the second half of this calendar yr with first manufacturing three years after that – however Wesfarmers has offered a neat lesson in long-term considering.

Thursday introduced a end result that highlighted the monetary firepower that makes these types of investments doable.

Group revenue surged 25.5 per cent to $1.4 billion with progress from Wesfarmers’ retail companies – Bunnings, Officeworks, Kmart and Goal – working at 19 per cent, or 1.5 occasions the broader retail market excluding meals.

Bunnings was once more the star, rising income 24 per cent and earnings 34 per cent in a powerful show of working leverage.

Sure, the increase Wesfarmers has acquired from authorities stimulus and COVID-19 restrictions will fade, however its retail companies shall be stronger on the finish of the pandemic than initially.