QLD Government to build and own new vanadium facility in Townsville

Monica Gameng   |   November 26, 2021
Saint Elmo project (cr: Multicom Resources)

A new vanadium processing plant is going to be built in Townsville and owned by the Queensland Government, supporting jobs creation as well as the production of a key new resource mineral in the region. 

The facility is part of the State Government’s plan to establish Queensland as a key producer and exporter of new-economy minerals and home of new industries. In addition, the processing plant is being delivered as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan. 

“We will continue to support our resources industry and the jobs it creates. 

“That means new economy minerals like vanadium,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. 

The construction of the vanadium processing plant in Townsville will pave the way for the growing production of new economy minerals in the State. 

Currently, Australia holds the third largest deposits of vanadium resources in the world but does not produce a single kilogram of processed vanadium. 

Mining companies are looking into processing vanadium at an industrial scale but don’t have the capital to build their own processing plants thus the Queensland Government is stepping in with the construction of the new vanadium facility. 

“Through our $520 million Invested in Queensland program, we will put at least $10 million towards this common-user facility, with the final amount depending on the outcome of the construction tender. 

“A common-user facility can be used by multiple, smaller mining companies that do not have the available capital to set up their own processing facilities. 

“This is an important step in attracting further investor interest and future off-take agreements,” Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said. 

Site selection for the Townsville facility is already in its final stages and the Department of Resources is set to release detailed engineering assessments and costings for the project in the New Year. 

Construction on the new vanadium processing plant is anticipated to commence in 2022 and be operational in 2023. 

Once up and running, mining companies who will use the facility will have to transport ore from their mines to Townsville where they can begin producing mineral samples at scale. 

Queensland’s North West Minerals Province is a significant source of vanadium and the State Government is committed to supporting the companies that extract them with the construction of the new facility. 

According to Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart, the proposed Townsville facility is a vital component in the work of the North West Minerals Province Taskforce. 

“In September this year, the Palaszczuk Government joined with Multicom Resources to announce the go-ahead of the $250 million Saint Elmo vanadium mine near Julia Creek. 

“The Saint Elmo mine alone will support up to 400 regional jobs, laying the foundation for a potential next level industry in Queensland manufacturing vanadium redox flow batteries. 

“Saint Elmo is just the beginning, with other companies progressing other potential vanadium mines in what could become a world-class vanadium hub in the North West, so having this processing facility in Townsville will ensure locals reap the benefits,” Minister Stewart said. 

In addition to the support in mining, processing and exporting of vanadium, the new processing plant will also create jobs across North Queensland. This ensures that Townsville as well as the entire northern region will benefit from the renewable energy revolution. 

“I welcome the development of this processing plant which will usher in new employment opportunities for Townsville, both at the site itself, and at the Port of Townsville where it will support jobs through exports,” Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said. 

“The Palaszczuk Government is already supporting major job-creating projects in the battery storage space with the proposed Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct. This vanadium processing facility is just adding another string to the bow of the Townsville economy, creating more jobs for locals,” Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; The North West Star; Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly; Australian Mining 

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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.
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