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Townsville is set to become home to Australia’s first critical minerals processing centre, the Queensland Resources Common User Facility (QRCUF).

Located at the Cleveland Bay industrial park in Townsville, the state-owned mineral processing facility aims to support the growth of the state’s emerging critical minerals sector and help create jobs in north Queensland.

Mining companies will be able to trial mineral processing techniques, demonstrate project feasibility at scale and provide the market with product samples to accelerate commercial development opportunities.

“Queensland has strong history as a mining state, and this QRCUF will ensure we have a strong mineral future as well,” Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said.

“This facility will prepare Queensland for the future of clean energy production through the critical minerals the world needs.”

Queensland minerals processing company Sedgman has been appointed the managing contractor of the facility, which will target vanadium and other rare earth elements.

Sedgman, a CIMIC Group company, will work closely with the Queensland Government to develop the detailed design and construction program for the site.

“We see the Queensland Government’s initiative to develop a critical minerals common user facility as a vital step in ensuring Queensland and Queensland companies stay at the forefront of the technology development essential to develop new resources driven industries required for our energy transition,” Sedgman managing director Grant Fraser said.

“We will now begin to engage other Queensland companies to bring this state-of-the art facility to life.”

The QRCUF aims to accelerate the development of commercial mining projects in Queensland, promote investment in advanced mineral manufacturing opportunities, and support supply chain and industry development.

The facility is intended to be operational for vanadium processing in 2025, with capacity to expand over time to encompass processing other critical minerals like cobalt and rare earth elements.