Major advocacy win with $10M processing plant announced

State government to build and own $10M vanadium processing facility in major advocacy win for the region

Townsville will become the home of a new critical mineral processing plant with the State Government stepping in to support a new industry, securing Queensland's future as a globally significant supplier of high-quality vanadium to energy storage and steel markets.

The new facility will see Queensland become the leading producer and exporter of new-economy minerals, and home of new industries - and finally unlock the potential of the North and North West to lead Australia's mission toward a Net Zero economy.

Construction is expected to start in 2022 and the plant operational in 2023, making the timing of the project in line with meeting global demand as the world vanadium market expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4% and expected to reach $2.36 billion in 2025.

Vanadium is used as a major component of large-scale Vanadium Flow Batteries for a reliable, safe, and stable solution for the storage of renewable energy. Vanadium is also used to make steel alloys for use in aerospace, automotive, aircraft carriers and the creation of high speed/ high strength tools.

Townsville Enterprise CEO Claudia Brumme-Smith said the announcement today is a major advocacy win for our region and we welcome the decision to invest in the future of Australia's new minerals economy, which can be found right here in North and North West Queensland.

"The combination of the vanadium concentration, economics, and sustainability of processing in the North West provides an opportunity like nowhere else in the world. While everyone talks about renewables in our nation’s capital cities, our region does the heavy lifting in terms of copper, zinc, lead mining and processing, and now vanadium, which will drive the delivery of battery manufacturing for renewable energies," Ms Brumme-Smith.

"We congratulate Treasurer and Trade and Investment Minister Cameron Dick, Resources Minister Scott Stewart and the State Government for working with his team who worked closely on securing this project."

"In a recent visit to the Saint Elmo mine near Julia Creek, we saw first-hand the potential this sector has, and are keen to see the project become operational and take steps forward as Queensland becomes the lead producer and exporter for these new-economy minerals. We understand the North West vanadium miners will work closely with AMEC and Townsville Enterprise to co-design a facility that is diverse in its application as a common user infrastructure project." 

"The processing of vanadium is geared towards large scale renewable energy storage was an opportunity not to be missed, and we're pleased the State Government has also seen our vision for our region; that through collaboration we can deliver for the future - and the investment into renewables is key for the future development of the entire nation."

"Townsville has had a long history and a proven track record of mineral processing and we are on the cusp of a new era of critical mineral processing that will secure the future of North Queensland."

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