Wednesday, April 24, 2024

EOI opens for minerals processing plant managing contractor


Delivery of an Australian-first processing facility for critical minerals has reached another important milestone with the opening of Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a managing contractor.

The Queensland Resources Common User Facility (QRCUF) will be a purpose-built testing and demonstration facility located at the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park.

The state-owned mineral processing facility will focus initially on vanadium processing, with capacity to expand over time to encompass processing other critical minerals like cobalt and rare earth elements.

Vanadium is in demand around the world for its many uses, including to create a reliable and safe renewable energy storage solution which can be used in large-scale batteries.

“Once operational the facility will enable North Queensland to leverage their abundant critical minerals and rare earth elements to secure local supply and meet the growing global demand,” said Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick.

“There is already interest from companies in using the facility, and opportunities for jobs, new manufacturing and processing supply chains and investment to North Queensland is expected follow.”

He said delivery of the QRCUF in Queensland will accelerate the development of commercial mining projects, promote investment in advanced mineral manufacturing opportunities, and support supply chain and supporting industry development.

There is no comparable pilot or demonstration scale facility in Australia or the Asia Pacific.

The Managing Contractor of the project will be responsible for engaging the consultants, suppliers and trade contractors necessary to develop and construct the QRCUF and may choose to undertake some of the works directly.  

The QRCUF is expected to commence operations in 2025.

The EOI opens today and will close on 15 May 2023. Following the EOI, the Queensland Government will select a shortlist of respondents to go to a Request for Proposal later in mid-2023.

The facility is part of a $150 million commitment announced in the 2022-2023 State Budget Update in December 2022 for common user infrastructure to support the development, extraction and production of critical minerals.

It is also a key action under the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan, and supports the delivery of the $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and the transformation of Queensland’s energy system to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to provide power for generations.

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