Queensland government to own new mineral processing plant

By Jackson Graham

November 24, 2021

Cameron Dick
Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

The Queensland government is due to build and own a resource mineral processing plant in Townsville, wading into the economy for new minerals where it says the industry lacks the capital. 

The site will process vanadium — a metal that can be used for manufacturing batteries — and is part of a government plan to support jobs and accelerate the state’s economic recovery from the pandemic. 

Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick said the site was a step forward for the state to be a leader in minerals behind the renewable energy revolution. 

“Australia has the world’s third-largest deposits of vanadium resources, but right now we don’t produce a single kilogram of processed vanadium,” Dick said. 

“The mining companies looking to process vanadium at an industrial scale don’t have the capital necessary to make that jump. That’s where our government can step in.”

Companies constructing grid batteries that hold charge in a liquid form use the metal, which enables the batteries to be built to a larger scale. 

The government is stumping up at least $10 million for the facility, which will operate under a common-user agreement, with smaller mining companies lacking the capital to build their own processing facilities.

“This is an important step in attracting further investor interest and future off-take agreements,” Dick said. 

“Once producers can see for themselves how processing occurs, they will have the confidence to invest in more manufacturing infrastructure and more jobs.” 

The government will go to tender for engineering assessments and costings in 2022, with construction also expected to start next year and operation scheduled for 2023. 

The state government has a plan to make Queensland the nation’s leader in new economy minerals and in September joined with Multicom Resources for a $250 million Saint Elmo vanadium mine near Julia Creek.


READ MORE:

Resources statement promotes future minerals exploration in Australia

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