Published: 23 February 2018
Townsville City Council has been briefed on plans to build a battery factory in the city.
It’s not the Boston Energy and Innovation lithium ion battery facility touted mid-last year.
The plans for this factory are to manufacture batteries to cater to residential-sized demand.
The main element, vanadium, is sourced from what junior miner Multicom Resources describes as one of the largest deposits in the world.
With leaching processing pathways confirmed, a heap leach trial is scheduled to start in Brisbane, this month (February).
Multicom has applied for a mining lease over a plot of land in the Toolebuc formation, identified previously as oil shale rich, located about 15km from Julia Creek.
(North west Queensland shire of McKinlay - Preparing Vanadium ore for transportation to Brisbane for heap-leach trials)
Multicom has partnered with US-based tech company StorEn to develop a commercially feasible offer.
“StorEn’s vanadium-based proprietary technology, geared toward the residential market, is a game-changer for consumers who are seeking to lessen their dependency on the electricity grid,” said company co-founder Nathan Cammerman.
“The success of the JV with Alexander Mining and John Webster Innovations for the vanadium leaching technology will set Multicom apart as the cheapest global producer of V2O5 and underpin the off take agreement with StorEn Technologies.
“This is a seven-year project for battery manufacture to grow to around 70,000 units a year.
“The factory will be a reasonable size. We’ll estimate there’ll be 50 positions created.
“At that stage it will be fed by around 150 trucking movements a year, each pulling 100 tonnes of processed material (from the mine).
“That’s scheduled to start in the second half of 2020.”
Under the agreement, StorEn Technologies gets long-term, exclusive, and fixed-price offtake for vanadium pentoxide from Multicom’s Queensland Mine.
Other parts of the agreement include:
- Multicom (through its subsidiary Freedom Energy Pty Ltd) has exclusive distribution and sales agreement for Storen next generation vanadium batteries across the Asia Pacific Region.
- StorEn and Multicom have a respective call option to acquire an equity interest in each other.
- StorEn to provide trial units to Multicom for pilot testing in the Asia Pacific Region during 2018.
Multicom Resources has been operating with seed funding from private shareholders and is developing an initial Public Offering (IPO).
It was planned to be presented to the ASX in July, Mr Cammerman said.
“We’re refining our existing feasibility studies which will include the heap-leach trial and providing samples of the (vanadium) product to all of our preferred offtake partners,” he said.
“We’re partnering relationships with entities in Europe and Asia for battery and steel products.”
Other applications for the StorEn batteries were telecommunications and industrial scale storage, Mr Cammerman said.