Multicom Resources has received a prescribed project status from the Queensland Government for its proposed $470 million Saint Elmo vanadium mine in north-west Queensland.
The Queensland-based exploration and mining company plans to develop an open cut mine for the production of vanadium, a key material in manufacturing batteries.
Multicom has been working on the project since 2014 when exploration activities revealed significant amounts of vanadium within the sedimentary rocks in the area.
The declaration of the mine as a prescribed project enables the coordinator-general, if necessary, to intervene in the approvals process to ensure timely decision making for the project.
Multicom estimates there will be over 200 people directly employed during peak construction and more than 150 people employed in operational jobs.
Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the project has an anticipated life-span of 30 years, with the workforce expected to be largely sourced locally and housed in the region.
“The proponent (Multicom Resources) will mine and process vanadium for use in the growth market of vanadium batteries and new technologies within the renewable energy sector, and in high-strength steel production,” the minister said.
“In addition to the mine, the project includes a processing plant, rail spur line into the mine site, workforce accommodation village and associated infrastructure including an off-site water supply dam and 20km pipeline to the project site.”
Multicom expects to initially produce 10,000 tonnes of vanadium per annum, with production increasing to 20,000 tonnes per annum over time.
Shaun McCarthy, chief executive of Multicom, welcomed the designation, saying: “Gaining the required permits and approvals in a timely and efficient manner is a critical aspect of our development plans.”
Multicom expects to commence construction in late 2020 and is targeting first production of vanadium pentoxide in late 2021.
The company was established in 2015 for the purposes of acquiring vanadium exploration projects within Australia, focussing on the Queensland region and the underlying Toolebuc Formation.