PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Townsville Energy Chemicals (TECH) project has been declared a prescribed project by the Queensland government, with Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles saying it would support North Queensland’s economic recovery.
The proposed TECH project is an advanced manufacturing facility at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct that would refine ore to produce critical materials for use in new-technology batteries.
“The TECH project has the potential to provide a massive boost to Townsville and regional industry. The project will create around 800 construction jobs and its operational phase would create an estimated 1 700 jobs, including 300 highly-skilled advanced manufacturing jobs at the facility and 1400 jobs in support industries,” said Miles.
“Now that the prescribed project declaration has been made, the Queensland Coordinator-General can work with project proponent Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) to ensure all necessary project approvals are obtained in a timely manner.”
QPM MD and CEO Stephen Grocott said Townsville was the perfect location, with its existing infrastructure and a skilled workforce.
“Construction of The TECH facility could begin in 2022 with production commencing late 2023.
“The facility proposes to process 1.5-million tonnes of ore annually to produce nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate and high-purity alumina which are sought after chemicals for use in the emerging electric-vehicle battery manufacture.
“Furthermore, we will do this in a sustainable manner with industry leading low carbon emissions, zero process liquid discharge and no tailings dam. This is a global first, consistent with the Townsville City Council’s aims for the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.”
Queensland Pacific Metals has offtake agreements in place to sell product to Korean companies LG Energy Solutions, the world’s largest battery manufacturer, and POSCO.
QPM has also signed a memorandum of understanding for a dedicated gas supply from the northern Bowen basin.
Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said the government has already committed A$12-million to support rail and road infrastructure to develop the Lansdown precinct and assist projects such as the TECH.
“High-grade ore from New Caledonia would be imported through the Port of Townsville and transported to the facility.
“Lansdown and projects like TECH will kick-start a new age in industry that will create jobs, which Townsville and North Queensland is ready to take advantage off.”