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Vanadium developer QEM is seeking to connect with the proposed CopperString 2.0 high-voltage electricity transmission line to link the North West Minerals Province with the national electricity grid near Townsville.

Managing director Gavin Loyden said QEM planned to develop a mine, processing facilities and associated infrastructure to take advantage of the increasing supply gap associated with the global demand for vanadium pentoxide.

“We are encouraged by the fact the vanadium market is predicted to grow steadily due to increasing production of high-strength steel, upward trends with vanadium batteries and the emergence of vanadium in new technologies and that is why vanadium has been declared a ‘critical mineral’ by Australia, the USA, and Europe,” Mr Loyden said.

QEM is working towards the mining, extraction, processing, and export of vanadium pentoxide, oil shale and green hydrogen from its Julia Creek project.

The executive chairman of CopperString 2.0 proponent CuString. John O’Brien, said connection to CopperString’s high-voltage transmission network could be utilised by QEM to accommodate shortfalls and surpluses in power requirements for their industrial complex.

“QEM is focussed on the exploration and development of its Julia Creek project which sits to the immediate north of the proposed CopperString corridor,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We believe that affordable and reliable electricity delivered by CopperString’s connection to the National Electricity Market will help QEM to fulfill its ambitions and also unlock the globally significant reserves of critical minerals and rare earths in the North West Minerals Province.”

QEM has this week bolstered its board of directors with the appointment of John Henderson as a non-executive director.

Mr Henderson has more than 35 years’ experience in major project development, which includes executive roles with oil and mining multinationals, as well as mid-tier and start-up energy companies.

Among his achievements, Mr Henderson developed Rio Tinto’s unconventional energy project portfolio
in Mozambique.

Most recently, Mr Henderson has been with Siecap, a specialist project management consultancy which has been working with QEM to streamline the company’s green hydrogen strategy at Julia Creek.

Mr Loyden said Mr Henderson’s appointment came at an optimal time for the company.

“QEM is venturing into a new and exciting phase, with the company positioned to complete the oil and vanadium pilot plant development and subsequently advance to the first stage of the Julia Creek project pre-feasibility study,” Mr Loyden said.

“Having John come on the board will enhance his ability to help drive the company’s strategy to the next level to unlock the significant latent value potential the multi-commodity Julia Creek project possesses.”