The federal government says it is positioning Australia as a key global player in critical minerals as it grants Major Project Status to the Saint Elmo Project near Julia Creek.
The Multicom-run vanadium project situated 25km east of Julia Creek is slated for production in 2021 and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Government is committed to backing projects that will boost local jobs and create opportunities for regional businesses.
"Not only do projects like this hold enormous economic potential for local communities, they also generate millions of dollars for the Australian economy," Minister Andrews said.
"Granting Major Project Status demonstrates the Morrison Government's support for companies with nation-building plans, especially in areas which are of significant value to overseas markets."
The Saint Elmo Vanadium Project will develop an open cut mine for the production of vanadium, a key material in manufacturing batteries, particularly suited to renewable energy storage.
It will create more than 200 jobs during construction, with hundreds more to follow once the mine is operational and as its output grows.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said there is increasing global demand for rare earths and valuable resources like vanadium, which are on the critical minerals list in Australia and the US.
"Australia is cementing its place as a powerhouse for critical minerals and rare earth production now and into the future," Minister Canavan said.
"Granting Major Project Status to Saint Elmo is evidence of this Government's support to this vitally important sector which has everyday applications in electric vehicles, renewable energy and smart phones."
Executive Director of Multicom Resources Limited Nathan Cammerman welcomed the Major Project Status.
"The designation sends a clear signal to our international partners that the Australian Government is committed to enabling critical minerals projects," Mr Cammerman said.
"Support with the final project construction and development approvals required for the project will also help towards significant employment and economic outcomes for the Julia Creek and broader North Queensland region."
Construction of the Saint Elmo Project is expected next year, with the first vanadium exports in 2021.
Major Project Status provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals, project support and coordination, and help with state and territory approvals.
READ ALSO: Local police are working hard on crime
While you are here subscribe to our weekly email to your inbox at 6am every Friday