Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton (right) pictured with Cobalt Blue Holdings CEO Joe Kaderavek and Demonstration Plant Manager Adam Randall in Broken Hill.
The Liberal and Nationals’ Government has announced further steps to position Australia as a critical minerals powerhouse through grants to support four projects that will deliver new job and economic opportunities.
Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said a critical minerals project in Broken Hill is one of four receive a grant through the $200 million Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative.
“The Accelerator initiative will help strategically significant projects like Cobalt Blue Holdings at Broken Hill to fast-track early- and mid-stage projects to market and drive investment,” Minister Pitt said.
“Australia possesses extraordinary reserves of critical minerals crucial to many industries including medical equipment, defence, aerospace, automotive, new batteries and agritech.
“The Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative is yet another example of how this Government is backing the resources sector to strengthen our national economy and create jobs, especially in regional Australia.
Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said it’s great to see a Broken Hill project included in this initiative.
“A $15 million grant to Cobalt Blue Holding will support the company’s position in the growing critical minerals market providing exciting new economic opportunities for our region,” Mr Coulton said.
“Cobalt Blue is developing a cobalt mine and refinery, producing cobalt sulphate, which is a key input into lithium ion battery supply chains.
“The project will support around 400 jobs in regional New South Wales and generate tens of millions of dollars in local economic activity.
“Importantly it will help build our sovereign capability in cobalt processing and establish Australia as a reliable supplier of refined cobalt products,” Mr Coulton said.
The four successful projects offered grant funding in this first round are:
- Alpha HPA Ltd – $15.5 million for its ‘HPA First’ Product Expansion Project to add new capabilities to the ultra-pure aluminium chemical plant being developed near Gladstone, Queensland;
- Cobalt Blue Holdings – $15 million to accelerate a Definitive Feasibility Study for its Broken Hill Cobalt project, including final engineering designs, drilling for further resource definition, services and supply connection studies, workforce strategy, securing land use approvals and executing a financing strategy;
- EQ Resources Ltd – $6 million for tungsten production through recovering mine waste and reactivating open-pit mining in Mount Carbine, Queensland;
- Lava Blue – up to $5.24 million for its project to develop modular re-processing technology to recover high-purity alumina, magnesium and critical minerals from vanadium mine waste; and
Minister Pitt said all projects include private sector co-investment.
“The Critical Minerals Accelerator initiative will help uncover new sources of supply, moving up the value chain of critical minerals through processing and high technology manufacturing, supporting robust supply chains, and creating high-paying regional jobs for Australians while improving Australia’s export resilience.
“These projects build on the Morrison Government’s announcement of a $1.25 billion loan through the Critical Minerals Facility to Australian company Iluka Resources, to develop Australia’s first integrated rare earths refinery at Eneabba in Western Australia.
“They align with the objectives of the Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy, which is ensuring Australia captures added value from our critical minerals and strengthens our position as a trusted supplier of critical minerals to our friends and allies around the world,” Minister Pitt said.
Draft guidelines have been published for consultation on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Consultation Hub.