Development of a common-user processing facility in Townsville for critical minerals like vanadium is advancing, with the State Government opening Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a managing contractor.

The $75 million Queensland Resources Common User Facility (QRCUF) will be a purpose-built testing and demonstration facility located at the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park.

It is expected to help accelerate the development of commercial mining projects, promote investment in advanced mineral manufacturing opportunities, and support supply chain and supporting industry development.

“Queensland and in particular the North West Minerals Province has an abundance of critical minerals like vanadium that the world is demanding as it decarbonises,” Resources Minister Scott Stewart said. 

“The Queensland Resources Common User Facility as well as the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in Copperstring 2032 will help unlock these deposits and the next resources boom for the state.

“This facility will help resources companies prove up their product and develop new opportunities for vanadium mining in Queensland which will support good jobs in regional Queensland.”

The QRCUF is expected to commence operations in 2025.

The State says there is no comparable pilot or demonstration scale facility in Australia or the Asia Pacific.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said there was already interest from companies looking to use the facility, and opportunities for jobs, new manufacturing and processing supply chains and investment to North Queensland was expected follow.

“Vanadium is used in redox flow batteries, which have a much greater capacity to be scaled up than other battery technology,” he said.

“That means this Common User Facility has the potential to play a major role in the delivery of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

The managing contractor of the project will be responsible for engaging the consultants, suppliers and trade contractors necessary to develop and construct the QRCUF and may choose to undertake some of the works directly. 

The EOI opens today and will close on May 15. The State Government will select a shortlist of respondents to go to a request for proposal in mid-2023.

Application requirements and evaluation criteria can be found via QTenders.