The Australian Vanadium project has been awarded major project status by the federal government, highlighting the contribution it is expected make to the Western Australian economy.
Major project status has been awarded for a period of three years and provides a single point of contact for assistance with navigating the approval process and relevant government legislation.
The streamlined approach has the potential to result in accelerated approvals.
Australian Vanadium (AVL) informed the market of the announcement alongside Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan.
The award provides formal recognition of the national strategic significance of the project, through its contribution to economic growth, employment and to regional Western Australia, according to Andrews.
“Our government sees the incredible economic potential these projects offer, not just for the regional areas where they’re located but for Australia more broadly,” Andrews said.
“These products are rare and in high demand, and these projects will generate millions for our economy, create jobs in regional areas and bring important permanent infrastructure investment.”
Canavan reinforced the importance of the project, adding “vanadium is on the critical minerals list for Australia and the US, which means there is a market there for this globally significant resource.”
He revealed the project’s impact on the WA economy, in particular the Meekatharra region, through the creation of around 400 direct construction jobs and a further 200 ongoing jobs.
Australian Vanadium’s managing director Vincent Algar said the formal recognition of the project demonstrated support and gives investors comfort when considering investing in the project.
“AVL has already defined a vanadium project of significant size and economic potential, and official endorsement by the Australian Government for major project status recognises this,” Algar said.
“Assistance with the approval process which is currently underway by AVL will be most welcome.”
Australian Vanadium is progressing through the feasibility studies required to move the project into production.
A “robust” pre-feasibility study has been released and a pilot scale study is currently underway to prove the process at scale.
The project has an initial 17-year mine life, defined over just 2.5 kilometres of an 11 kilometres held strike, which contains further inferred resources, with upgrade drilling planned to extend the life of the project.