New mine one step closer to shovel ready

A NEW mine near Julia Creek expected to produce at least 10,000 tonnes of vanadium per annum and create more the 300 jobs has received conditional approval.

Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment approved the mine, called the Saint Elmo Project, last week.

Now, the company is waiting for the state government to sign off on the final part of the environmental approval.

Multicom Resources, the company behind the project, is one step closer to being able to start operations.

They will mine vanadium which can be used to make safe and reliable renewable energy batteries.

The company has been given a number of approval conditions, including minimising the impact on the Julia Creek Dunnart and not causing injury or death to the marsupial during clearing works.

The project will clear more than 7400 hectares of habitat for the Dunnart, which is found in the Mitchell Grasslands in northwest Queensland.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Susan Ley said the project was approved subject to conditions.

"The conditions of approval include a requirement for environmental offsets that will compensate for the impacts of the project on the Julia Creek Dunnart and provide significant conservation benefits for the species through long-term research and broadscale management of the species' threats," the spokesman said.

In an update on the project in September last year, Multicom said it was working towards construction starting in late 2021.

This followed the company receiving the Environmental Assessment Report from the Queensland government.

State Resources Minister Scott Stewart welcomed the federal government's decision.

"Vanadium will be a workhorse mineral of the battery storage and renewable energy sector," he said.

"There has been significant interest in vanadium and other new-age minerals in North Queensland.

"That's why the Palaszczuk Government is backing the North West Minerals Province as it will create jobs as we deliver Queensland's plan for economic recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic."

The mine, which is 25km east of Julia Creek, is expected to have a life of 20 years.

"The project area has historically been used for cattle grazing," Multicom's website says.

"The final form of rehabilitation will be determined in conjunction with the landowners, local council and following community consultation.

"The project is anticipated to directly employ up to 250 construction people during the construction phase and more than 150 people once fully operational."

Multicom was unable to comment at this time.





Originally published as New mine one step closer to shovel ready