Townsville Bulletin

$650m NQ project is closer to reality


A MULTIMILLI­ON dollar refinery has been declared a ‘prescribed project’, which would support thousands of jobs and “kickstart a new age in industry” in North Queensland. Queensland Pacific Metals plans to build the battery metals refinery in the proposed Lansdown Eco-industrial Precinct south of Townsville.

A Queensland minister can declare a prescribed project if it is of large economic and social benefit to Queensland or a region and gives the Coordinato­r-general power to intervene, if necessary, in state and local government approval processes to ensure timely decision-making for the project.

If financed, the company wants to begin constructi­on of the proposed Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub in 2022 with the possibilit­y of production commencing in late 2023. Government-backed financier the Northern Australia Infrastruc­ture Facility is assessing whether to fund the $650m project, which would process materials for export to Korean companies for use in electric vehicles.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Developmen­t Steven Miles said the project’s declaratio­n would support North Queensland.

“The TECH project has the potential to provide a massive boost to Townsville and regional industry,” Mr Miles said.

Mr Miles estimated the project would create about 800 constructi­on jobs with an estimated 1700 jobs, including 300 highly-skilled advanced manufactur­ing jobs at the facility during its operationa­l phase with an additional 1400 jobs in support industries.

“Now that the prescribed project declaratio­n has been made, the Queensland Coordinato­r-general can work with project proponent (QPM) to ensure all necessary project approvals are obtained in a timely manner,” he said.

The actualisat­ion of the Lansdown Eco-industrial Precinct would be a major milestone for the city with the project expected to become Northern Australia’s first environmen­tally sustainabl­e advanced manufactur­ing, processing and technology hub.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the precinct was positioned to spur economic growth and job creation across the region for decades to come.

QPM managing director Stephen Grocott said the facility proposed to process 1.5 million tonnes of ore each year to produce chemicals used to manufactur­e batteries for electric vehicles. “We will do this in a sustainabl­e manner with industry leading low carbon emissions, zero process liquid discharge and no tailings dam,” he said.

Previously Grocott said the company was working to secure its debt and equity financing needed to reach a final investment decision.

Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said the government had committed $12m to support rail and road infrastruc­ture to develop the Lansdown precinct and assist projects such as the TECH.

“Lansdown and projects like TECH will kickstart a new age in industry that will create jobs that Townsville and North Queensland is ready to take advantage off,” he said. The proposed Lansdown precinct sits nearby other major infrastruc­ture including the Haughton Pipeline duplicatio­n water security project and Copperstri­ng 2.0 power transmissi­on project.

 ?? ?? An artist’s impression of Queensland Pacific Metals battery metals refinery planned for Lansdown EcoIndustr­ial Precinct and (right)
Steven Miles (top) and Jenny Hill.
An artist’s impression of Queensland Pacific Metals battery metals refinery planned for Lansdown EcoIndustr­ial Precinct and (right) Steven Miles (top) and Jenny Hill.

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