Townsville to be home to Australia’s first critical minerals facility

Published Thursday, 09 November, 2023 at 11:15 AM


Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

  • Sedgman will lead the development of the plant
  • State-owned facility to be located at Cleveland Bay Industrial Park in Townsville
  • The facility is the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region

Queensland company Sedgman has been appointed the Managing Contractor for the delivery of a critical minerals processing facility targeting vanadium and other rare earth elements.

CIMIC Group Company Sedgman will work closely with the Palaszczuk Government to develop the detailed design and construction program for the Queensland Resources Common User Facility (QRCUF).

Queensland has access to some of the world’s richest critical mineral-producing areas, with the North West Minerals Province assessed to hold deposits worth $500 billion dollars.

The QRCUF will accelerate the development of commercial mining projects in Queensland, promote investment in advanced mineral manufacturing opportunities, and support supply chain and industry development.

Mining companies will be able to trial mineral processing techniques, demonstrate project feasibility at scale and provide the market with product samples to accelerate commercial development opportunities.

Located at the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park in Townsville, the facility supports the growth of the state’s emerging critical minerals sector and will help create good jobs in North Queensland.

The state-owned mineral processing facility is intended to be operational for vanadium processing in 2025, with capacity to expand over time to encompass processing other critical minerals like cobalt and rare earth elements.

Quotes attributable to the Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick:

“Queensland has strong history as a mining state, and this Common User Facility will ensure we have a strong mineral future as well.

This facility will prepare Queensland for the future of clean energy production through the critical minerals the world needs.

“This facility will enable smaller mining companies to prove up their product and develop new opportunities for vanadium mining in Queensland.

“The efficient production of vanadium, used in redox flow batteries could supercharge Queensland’s renewable energy industry.

“As the only facility of its kind in the Asia-Pacific, the facility will also position Queensland at the forefront of innovation and commercialisation to drive advancements in manufacturing, defence, and scientific research.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Resources Scott Stewart:

“Queensland has some of the world’s richest mineral producing areas, with major deposits of copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, tungsten, graphite, vanadium and rare earths.

“This supply, coupled with the global embrace of sustainability is driving interest in our state, and pushing the clean energy transition forward. 

“North Queensland in particular is undergoing a great period of change and development, as we embrace the opportunities of the renewable energy transition. 

“Delivery of this Facility, as well as Copperstring 2032 and other projects detailed in the Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy, will help accelerate resources opportunities to carry us into a new century.”

APPROVED Quotes attributable Grant Fraser, Managing Director for Sedgman:

“We have been an innovation leader in minerals processing in the Queensland and Australian mining industry for 43 years.

“We see the Queensland Government’s initiative to develop a critical minerals common user facility as a vital step in ensuring Queensland and Queensland companies stay at the forefront of the technology development essential to develop new resources driven industries required for our energy transition.

“Minerals processing is at the heart of what we do, and we are pleased to bring our expertise to this unique project based in regional Queensland.

“We will now begin to engage other Queensland companies to bring this state-of-the art facility to life.”

Further information:

  • Queensland Government has committed $245 million under the Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy to unlock new opportunities and support exploration of critical minerals in the North West Minerals Province.
  • This is further supported by the $5 billion Big Build investment in CopperString 2032 which will deliver a 1,100km transmission line from Townsville to Mount Isa.
  • The delivery of the $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is expected to transformation of Queensland’s energy system to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to provide power for generations.
  • More information about the Queensland Resources Common User Facility is available at: