Vanadium processing plant could bring hundreds of jobs to Geraldton, says Mayor Shane Van Styn

Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Artist's impression of a proposed new Vanadium plant to be built near Mullewa
Camera IconArtist's impression of a proposed new Vanadium plant to be built near Mullewa Credit: Australian Vanadium Limited

Geraldton mayor Shane Van Styn says employment opportunities in the Mid West could soar with the announcement today of a potential new Vanadium processing plant.

Perth-based Australian Vanadium Limited has announced plans to mine the mineral near Meekatharra and truck it to a processing plant it intends to build near Mullewa.

“Having personally shown staff and directors from AVL around Geraldton and having held many discussions with them, their commitment to regionally based jobs has always been at the forefront of talks,” Mr Van Styn said.

“The new plant will open up employment opportunities for locals – including an estimated 200 jobs during construction and 100 ongoing jobs for regionally-based personnel — which will be a massive boost for our economy.”

The company has signed an option agreement for land with Wyalong Pastoral Co, to locate its processing plant west of Mullewa and south of the Geraldton-Mt Magnet Road.

This map shows the locations of a proposed open cut Vanadium mine near Meekatharra and processing plant near Mullewa.
Camera IconThis map shows the locations of a proposed open cut Vanadium mine near Meekatharra and processing plant near Mullewa. Credit: Australian Vanadium Limited

AVL’s managing director Vincent Algar said the agreement was an important step forward for the project.

Under the plans announced Mr Algar said the Australian Vanadium Project near Meekatharra would become an open pit mine.

He said relocating the processing plant to the Mullewa site would reduce costs because there would be no need to build a new gas pipeline.

“The electrical energy requirement onsite can be provided by reliable hybrid power systems, which will include a significant component of renewable energy, combined with trucked natural gas or diesel,” he said.

“Energy storage as part of the hybrid power system is highly suited to the use of a megawatt-scale vanadium redox flow battery.

“Relocating the processing plant would also significantly reduce the minesite water requirement by approximately one third of total water used.”

Mr Algar said other benefits included reduced construction costs, cheaper transportation, and workers being able to live locally rather than onsite.

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