Australia’s first critical minerals processing facility will be built in Townsville, with the new facility set to process vanadium and other rare earth elements from 2025.

The state-owned facility will be located at Cleveland Bay Industrial Park in Townsville, and will be the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.

CIMIC Group Company Sedgman will work closely with the Queensland Government to develop the detailed design and construction program for the Queensland Resources Common User Facility (QRCUF).

Queensland has access to some of the world’s richest critical mineral-producing areas, with the North West Minerals Province assessed to hold deposits worth $500 billion dollars.

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

Mining companies will be able to trial mineral processing techniques, demonstrate project feasibility at scale and provide the market with product samples to accelerate commercial development opportunities.

Located at the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park in Townsville, the facility supports the growth of the state’s emerging critical minerals sector and will help create good jobs in North Queensland.

The state-owned mineral processing facility is intended to be operational for vanadium processing in 2025, with capacity to expand over time to encompass processing other critical minerals like cobalt and rare earth elements.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said the state has a history as a mining state, and the Common User Facilitity will ensure Queensland has a strong mineral future as well. 

“This facility will enable smaller mining companies to prove their product and develop new opportunities for vanadium mining in Queensland,” Mr Dick said. 

“The efficient production of vanadium, used in redox flow batteries, could supercharge Queensland’s renewable energy industry.

“As the only facility of its kind in the Asia-Pacific, the facility will also position Queensland at the forefront of innovation and commercialisation to drive advancements in manufacturing, defence, and scientific research.”

State Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart, said Queensland has some of the world’s richest mineral producing areas, with major deposits of copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, tungsten, graphite, vanadium and rare earths. 

“This supply, coupled with the global embrace of sustainability is driving interest in our state, and pushing the clean energy transition forward. 

“North Queensland in particular is undergoing a great period of change and development, as we embrace the opportunities of the renewable energy transition,” Mr Stewart said.

“Delivery of this Facility, as well as Copperstring 2032 and other projects detailed in the Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy, will help accelerate resource opportunities to carry us into a new century.”

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