Sunday 22nd Sep, 2019

Two WA bulk projects get major status boost

Continental, Michelin and software developer Smag have launched a joint venture to develop an app that can map sustainability across the natural rubber industry.

Two projects that will create more than 700 jobs in Western Australia and boost the mining and agricultural industries have been granted Major Project Status.

The Australian Vanadium Project plans to develop an open pit mine to convert vanadium into specialty steel allows and energy storing batteries.

The Beyondie Project aims to establish Australia’s first commercial supply of premium fertiliser, Sulphate of Potash, which farmers currently need to import.

Major Project Status is granted when there is a strategic significance of a project to Australia. It helps provide coordination and facilitation support, as well as a single entry point to a coordinated approves process.

Industry, Science and Technology Minister, Karen Andrews, said the Federal Government sees incredible economic potential in the projects for Australia as a whole.

“These products are rare and in high demand, and these projects will generate millions for our economy, create jobs in regional areas and bring important permanent infrastructure investment,” Andrews said.

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Up to 90 jobs will be created to build the Beyondie project, which will have around 50 full time ongoing staff over the 30-year life of the mine.

Construction of the project will also see infrastructure developed in the regional community, which includes a new airstrip, road upgrades, improved communications and a 78-kilometre gas pipeline.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the Australian Vanadium Project aligned with the Government’s strategy to position Australia as a critical minerals powerhouse.

“Vanadium is on the critical minerals list for Australia and the US, which means there is a market there for this globally significant resource,” Canavan said.

“This project will have a significant impact on the Western Australian economy, especially the Meekatharra region with the creation of around 400 direct construction jobs and a further 200 ongoing jobs.

First production from the Beyondie Project is expected in 2020, and the Australian Vanadium Project expects first production by 2022.