Critical minerals, Government announcements, News

Queensland makes mineral processing leap

The Queensland Government has unveiled concept designs for its new pilot processing plant in Mackay.

Dubbed FlexiLab, the plant will provide space for testing, innovation, research and development, and training for the resources sector. It will be supported by $5.7 million in funding from the Queensland Government.

FlexiLab will be built within the Resources Centre of Excellence, which opened in mid-2020 to provide training and support companies developing new products and research.

“Investments in initiatives like FlexiLab will help to ensure a strong resources future for the community and for Queensland for decades to come,” Queensland Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart said.

“As we continue to face the global demand for critical minerals, FlexiLab will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of mineral processing.”

It is hoped FlexiLab will be used for helping prove the commercial viability of processing critical minerals such as cobalt, nickel, zinc, vanadium and alumina.

“This state-of-the-art facility, designed with a vision for innovation and collaboration, is set to redefine the landscape of mineral processing and accelerate growth in the critical minerals sector,” Stewart said.

“This common-user facility is an investment not just in infrastructure, but in Queensland’s economic resilience and future prosperity.”

FlexiLab will compliment the upcoming Queensland Resources Common User Facility, currently being built in Townsville.

“The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region has long been known for its ability to adapt and capture new industries and we now look to use our mining, METS and agriculture expertise to support the emerging critical minerals sector,” Resources Centre of Excellence chief executive officer Steven Boxall said.

“Understanding the opportunities and technologies required to successfully transform end-of-life and closed mine sites through economic rehabilitation will be invaluable.”

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