Workforce opportunities to expand with proposed processing plant

Published on Monday, 1 May 2023 at 11:24:32 AM

Workforce opportunities in the Midwest are one step closer to expanding with a potential new processing plant planned to be constructed near Mullewa.

The Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) processing plant is slated for construction in Tenindewa, which is estimated to create hundreds of jobs during construction as well as ongoing employment opportunities for the operation of the plant.

After a complex scheme amendment was endorsed at Council, City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the prospects from the project would be extremely beneficial for both Geraldton and Mullewa.

“This project could stimulate extensive economic growth in the Midwest through direct and in-direct jobs including opportunities for regional and national suppliers,” he said.

“Not only is the project a boost for the region, but it presents a massive opportunity for Australia to develop global skills and expertise in vanadium and its processing – all here in the Midwest.

“We have been in talks with AVL for some time now and it is great to see this project one step closer as well as Council supporting this development.”

At April’s Council Meeting, Council approved the initiation of a Local Planning Scheme amendment to include an ‘industry’ additional use on the land on Geraldton-Mount Magnet Road in Tenindewa. The reason being the processing plant is not a permissible use within the current zoning.

Facilitation of the plant and associated leading technology can deliver Australia and other countries to more sustainable energy storage and use to meet global and local climate and greenhouse gas challenges.

The current proposal is for a vanadium rich concentrate to be transported from the future AVL mine site located near Meekatharra. The processing plant being proposed in Tenindewa will receive the vanadium concentrate and produce a 99% pure vanadium product.

The products of the plant will be exported for the manufacture of renewable energy batteries, aerospace parts and alloy steels used in construction. A valuable Iron-Titanium Co-product (FeTi) will also be produced and exported to overseas steel mills via the Geraldton Port.

Given the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) are the decision-making authority for significant development applications such as this, a development planning application will now be progressed.

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