The former nickel town of Greenvale will be revitalised through a $1.3 billion nickel and cobalt production project.
The project will capitalise on growing demand within the battery market as well as demand for scandium, which is used in a variety of everyday products, including bike frames, cars, and even baseball bats.
Developers, led by Australian Mines Limited, are anticipating construction to start in either May or June, dependent on final stage finance negotiations.
On completion, the Queensland project will deliver 12,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate and 60,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate, while additionally producing a scandium oxide by-product.
The project estimates an ore reserve of 33.89 million tonnes with 0.1% cobalt, 0.67% nickel, and 42 parts per million scandium, while supplying a 2 million tonnes per annum high-pressure acid leach and solvent extraction plant.
The town of Greenvale has a long and prominent history as a nickel mining settlement, dating back to the first nickel laterite deposits being found in 1957.
The area is well-known to feature extensive nickel and cobalt mineralisation and one of the largest known reserves of scandium oxide.
Over 500 construction and roughly 300 operational jobs will be on offer, which will see a decent population and traffic rise for Greenvale’s current population of around 150.
Greenvale is a 3-hour, 253 km long, drive just west of Townsville and a 5-hour drive south of Cairns.
Clive Palmer’s Yabulu refinery, a 2-hour drive, was a significant part of Greenvale operations from 1974 to 1993, where nickel laterite ore from Greenvale was processed there.
“The Sconi (bankable feasibility study) demonstrates robust project and financial metrics with capital costs in line with Australian Mines’ prediction for the processing plant,” said Ben Bell, Australian Mines managing director.
“Production volumes and specifications are within the range sought by our offtake agreement with (Korean energy group) SK Innovation.”
Ben Bell from Australian Mines says the project anticipates an annual revenue of around $709 million AUD over 18 years with a 5-year project payback period.
Source: Townsville Bulletin