Australian Mines Limited’s $1.4 billion Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project has just been declared a ‘Prescribed Project’ by the Queensland Government, in a bid to boost jobs in North Queensland and make significant contributions to the local economy.
Located in the historic mining town of Greenvale, approximately 250 kilometres north-west of Townsville, Australian Mine’s flagship Sconi Project aims to produce nickel, cobalt and scandium for use in battery manufacturing, electric vehicles and similar high technology applications for export markets.
Two million tonnes of ore per annum is forecast to be processed at the Greenvale site, producing an estimated annual average production of 8,500 tonnes of cobalt, 53,500 tonnes of nickel sulphate and 77 tonnes of scandium oxide for at least 18 years.
The Sconi Project is expected to create up to 500 jobs during its two-year construction period and over 300 full-time equivalent jobs for the project’s operational period.
The Prescribed Project declaration is a move which will assist in streamlining Sconi’s progress through the final stages of regulatory approvals and fast-track its future development.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, commented that Australian Mines had set a strong mandate to invest in the region – $500,000 each year for training and skills development for process workers, with youth and Indigenous programs to feature.
“Upgrades to local Greenvale infrastructure will be made by the proponent,” the Minister said.
“This will help improve water supply, regional public roads and the Greenvale regional airport, while an accommodation village and 24/7 medical facility will also be constructed.”
Australian Mines Limited Managing Director, Ben Bell, also welcomed the news.
“With at least 80 per cent of the workforce for the project anticipated to be employed from the local region, and almost $1 billion of the project’s total capex expected to be spent with Australian businesses – with a preference for Queensland companies – Australian Mines Limited is committed to ensuring local communities and businesses continue to benefit from the development and ongoing operation of the Sconi Project,” Mr Bell said.
Construction for the Sconi Project is anticipated to start in 2019, with Australian Mines also set to open a regional office in either Townsville, Charters Towers or Greenvale.
More information on the Sconi Project can be found here.