A metal producer has received financial support to help start work sooner at its $1.5 billion transition metals project in North Queensland.
Australian Mines recently received a major loan package to fast-track progress on its Sconi Project near Greenvale, about 250km west of Townsville.
The State Government will provide the money through its $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund on the condition the proponent executes an offtake agreement and completes a detailed project execution plan no later than 30 September 2020.
A final investment decision and appointment of a head contractor also has to be complete by December 31.
The project involves reviving the former BHP Greenvale mine and building a 2 million tonne per annum ore processing plant capable of producing 7000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate and 46,800 tonnes of nickel sulphate annually. It also involves upgrading public use and shared infrastructure across the Charters Towers region.
The construction phase is expected to create 500 jobs while a further 289 operational positions will need to be filled throughout the mine’s 30-year lifespan. Positions are expected to be advertised in the New Year and construction is expected to last until at least 2023.
“Not only do you have the jobs at the mine site, you have all the supply chain opportunities,” State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said in a public statement. “That is important for local manufacturers and local manufacturing jobs.”
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Queensland Coordinator General Barry Broe declared the mine a prescribed project back in January 2019.
“This financial support package is evidence the Queensland Government is not letting up on doing the hard work to create jobs and promote economic growth across the state by offering every assistance they can to projects like Sconi,” Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said.