Water release to develop Queensland critical minerals

Rio Tinto

The Queensland Government is making thousands of litres of water available for the state’s north west, including for Multicom’s St Elmo vanadium mine near Julia Creek.

Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the department was announcing a competitive tender for 110,000 megalitres of unallocated water from the Flinders River general reserve.

“We are delivering on our commitment to open the tender this year so we can get this water flowing to this community,” he said.

“This water will increase agricultural capacity in the area and help drive prosperity, jobs and growth.”

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said releasing water for the mine  was further evidence of the Government’s commitment to driving development of new-economy minerals in the region.

“This is all about creating more jobs in more industries in regional Queensland,” he said.

Multicom chief executive officer Shaun McCarthy said water is a critical component of any mining operation, as it is required for mineral processing and general mining activities.

“Multicom greatly appreciates the support of the State Government in working with the company to determine a sustainable water solution for the project and the region,” he said.

“Following the recent mining lease grant for the project, the release of this unallocated strategic reserve signifies another major regulatory approval milestone.

“This will further assist the project in moving towards production in the coming years, creating jobs in the north-west Queensland region, as well as delivering Queensland’s critical minerals to the world in support of new technologies and the clean energy transition.”

St Elmo was given the go-ahead to begin construction in mid-September, marking a major milestone for the state’s first approved vanadium mine.

Entitlements in the Flinders River catchment are also tradable and this provides further opportunity for future prospective water users to find water trading partners.

The residual unallocated water volumes within the general reserve will be available to support future demands, including town water supplies and emerging minerals development.

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