Managing Contractor appointed for Townsville critical minerals facility

Monica Gameng   |   November 17, 2023
Townsville SDA (cr: Queensland Government)

Townsville is a step closer to welcoming Australia’s first critical minerals processing facility for vanadium and other rare earths elements following the appointment of a Managing Contractor for the $75 million project. 

CIMIC Group company Sedgman has been awarded the contract to head the development of detailed design and construction program for the Queensland Resources Common User Facility (QRCUF). 

“We have been an innovation leader in minerals processing in the Queensland and Australian mining industry for 43 years. 

“We see the Queensland Government’s initiative to develop a critical minerals common user facility as a vital step in ensuring Queensland and Queensland companies stay at the forefront of the technology development essential to develop new resources driven industries required for our energy transition. 

“Minerals processing is at the heart of what we do, and we are pleased to bring our expertise to this unique project based in regional Queensland. 

“We will now begin to engage other Queensland companies to bring this state-of-the-art facility to life,” Sedgman Managing Director Grant Fraser said. 

With Queensland having some of the world’s richest critical mineral-producing areas – including the North West Minerals Province that was assessed to hold deposits worth $500 billion – the delivery of QRCUF will help accelerate the development of commercial mining projects in the State while promoting investment in advanced mineral manufacturing opportunities and supporting supply chain and industry development. 

The new facility will allow mining companies to trial mineral processing techniques as well as demonstrate project feasibility at scale and provide the market with product samples, ultimately fast track commercial development opportunities. 

The QRCUF is going to be built within the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park in Townsville. It will be a fully enclosed facility that will: 

  • Contain a base set of processing equipment, with a target nominal capacity of up to 1.5 tonnes of feed ore per hour 
  • Designed to accommodate trials of a range of critical minerals and rare earth elements, with the initial focus being vanadium 
  • Able to be adapted to accommodate different users’ processes 
  • Capable of future expansion 

“Queensland has some of the world’s richest mineral producing areas, with major deposits of copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, tungsten, graphite, vanadium and rare earths. 

“This supply, coupled with the global embrace of sustainability is driving interest in our state, and pushing clean energy transition forward. 

“North Queensland in particular is undergoing a great period of change and development, as we embrace the opportunities of the renewable energy transition. 

“Delivery of this Facility, as well as CopperString 2032 and other projects detailed in the Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy, will help accelerate resources opportunities to carry us into a new century,” Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said. 

Once up and running, the QRCUF will support the growth of the State’s emerging critical minerals sector and help create good jobs in North Queensland. 

When completed in 2025, the state-owned mineral processing facility will initially operate to process vanadium and will expand its scope over time to encompass processing other critical minerals such as cobalt and rare earth elements. 

“Queensland has a strong history as a mining state, and this Common User Facility will ensure we have a string mineral future as well. 

“This facility will prepare Queensland for the future of clean energy production through the critical minerals the world needs. 

“This facility will enable smaller mining companies to prove up their product and develop new opportunities for vanadium mining in Queensland. 

“The efficient production of vanadium, used in redox flow batteries could supercharge Queensland’s renewable energy industry. 

“As the only facility of its kind in the Asia-Pacific, the facility will also position Queensland at the forefront of innovation and commercialisation to drive advancements in manufacturing, defence, and scientific research,” Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; Queensland Government – Department of Resources; QTenders 

New call-to-action

Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
Follow me:

Related Articles

Projects, QLD
EOI for Managing Contractor for new common user facility in QLD begins

The Queensland Government is getting on with the delivery of a state-owned mineral processing facility in Townsville with Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a managing contractor now underway. 

$150m funding committed to deliver Cairns Marine Precinct expansion

The expansion of the Cairns Marine Precinct is a step closer to becoming a reality as the Queensland Government invests $150 million to enable the delivery of this significant upgrade. 

Projects, QLD
New Cairns Marine Precinct Common User Facility gets green light

The Cairns Marine Precinct Common User Facility (CUF) is now fully funded following an additional $30 million investment from the Queensland Government. 

Get the latest project news

Formerly known as the PlantMiner blog, Felix Project News is Australia's top 10 Construction blog. Join thousands of construction and mining pros getting the best content right in their inbox.
  • updates on Australia's pipeline of state and federal projects
  • fresh contract awards from major contractors and builders

If you're looking to contact us about other matters, please contact us.