The Queensland Government has granted a prescribed project status to Agripower Australia’s $663 million fertiliser expansion project near Townsville.
Agripower produces high quality silicon fertiliser products with high plant available silicon (PAS), used in broadacre agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and organic agriculture.
Queensland’s State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the prescribed project status helped ensure Agripower receive timely approvals across all agencies.
Agripower’s stage one of a complex processing operation has been completed, but its expansion will enable production capacity to reach one million tonnes a year.
The company has completed construction of a new processing facility near Charters Towers that is capable of producing 240,000 tonnes of fertiliser a year.
“Agripower’s amorphous silica is sourced from what is believed to be the world’s largest deposit of the mineral near Greenvale,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“(The company) believes that a two billion tonne deposit could create a mine life of 200 years.
“Each year, Agripower expects to produce one million tonnes of fertiliser from the new facility, to be exported to the world – and to do that with a project life of up to 200 years. This can mean local jobs for local skilled workers for generations to come.”
Agripower’s expansion is estimated to create 490 jobs during construction and 470 ongoing operational jobs.
This facility is expected to become operational in June, with the first shipment of 5000 tonnes to be exported to India from the Port of Townsville the following month.
Agripower has invested more than $100 million over the past 18 years to develop the resource and holds a mining lease, two mineral development permits, and four exploration permits required for the project.