Special status to drive battery metal plans forward
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the proposed Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) had 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 1700 jobs, including 300 highly-skilled advanced manufacturing jobs at the facility and 1400 jobs in support industries,” he said.
“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 plans to process 1.5 million tonnes of ore annually at TECH to produce nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate and high-purity alumina- all in demand in the emerging electric-vehicle battery manufacturing market.
It announced last month that it had moved to due diligence phase in a bid to attract Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility funding for the project, which would be based at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct on Townsville’s outskirts.
Battery maker LG Energy Solution and Korean steel producer POSCO are backing the project to the tune of more than $19 million ($US15 million).
They have entered into a binding agreement for equity investment in Queensland Pacific Metals, as well as binding offtake agreements for 10,000 tonnes contained nickel and 1000 tonnes contained cobalt from the project.
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