Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Resources Minister Scott Stewart and Multicom Resources’ Chief Executive Officer Shaun McCarthy jointly announced the go-ahead for the $250 million Saint Elmo Mine near Julia Creek in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province this morning.
The Saint Elmo Project will mine and process vanadium, an important ingredient in the manufacture of high strength low alloy steel and critical for vanadium redox flow batteries which are ideally suited to large, grid-scale storage solutions.
Construction is planned to commence in 2022 and Multicom estimates there will be over 200 people directly employed during peak construction and more than 150 people employed in operational jobs.
These employment numbers will also increase as the project shifts from an initial 10,000 tonne per annum (tpa) operation to a 20,000 tpa operation.
“I congratulate Multicom as the first cab off the rank in an exciting new era for Queensland’s resources sector, and a massive boost to our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Vanadium is a new economy mineral that will fuel Queensland’s future as a global resources supplier for decades to come.”
“This project, and these jobs, are a milestone in a journey that began seven years ago with the Queensland Government’s North West Minerals Province Taskforce.”
“This also lays the foundation for a potential next-level new industry in Queensland manufacturing vanadium redox flow batteries,” she said.
Minister Stewart said the new Saint Elmo Mine demonstrates the success of the Queensland Government’s approach to enabling a prosperous resources sector.
“Consistent with our policy of fostering new economy minerals development, the Geological Survey of Queensland is constantly gathering data on the state’s mineral endowment,” Minister Stewart said.
“The Palaszczuk Government makes that pre-competitive data available to explorers free of charge to help de-risk their exploration activity.”
“This data gives companies like Multicom the confidence they needed to support investment and a mining lease application.”
Mr McCarthy said Multicom expects that around three-quarters of the project’s workforce to either live in Julia Creek or McKinlay Shire, or to travel from surrounding communities of Cloncurry, Richmond and Mount Isa.
“Multicom will also source our suppliers from the local region as much as possible and is well-supported by the well-established supply chain along the Townsville to Mt Isa corridor,” he said.
“With ore processing to occur on-site and product to be shipped globally from the Port of Townsville, Multicom will benefit from the reliable logistics solution provided by the Flinders Hwy and Queensland Rail’s Mount Isa Line.”
Saint Elmo is the first mine approved in a potential vanadium hub in the far north-west, with other companies progressing other potential mines.
The Saint Elmo project was declared a prescribed project in February 2020 so Queensland’s Coordinator-General could streamline approvals and fast-track delivery of the project.