CMG applauds vanadium battery manufacturing collaboration in Townsville

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Image credit: Critical Minerals Group's LinkedIn

ASX-listed vanadium developer Critical Minerals Group has endorsed a groundbreaking collaboration agreement to establish a vanadium flow battery manufacturing supply chain in Townsville, North Queensland.

In a joint statement, Queensland Premier Steven Miles and Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Scott Stewart announced a non-binding collaboration agreement between Vecco Group, Sumitomo Electric, and Idemitsu.

This consortium aims to manufacture, market, sell, and deliver batteries from North Queensland, the company said in a media release.

Globally, there are plans or construction underway for 7.4GWh of vanadium batteries, requiring approximately 65,000 tons of vanadium.

This surge in projects underscores the substantial demand for vanadium as a flexible medium and long-term storage solution.

CMG’s planned annual production of 10,500 tons of vanadium pentoxide positions the company alongside other producers in the Julia Creek region to meet this growing market demand.

Under the agreement, Idemitsu Australia will market, sell, and deliver vanadium flow batteries utilising Sumitomo Electric’s advanced hardware and Vecco Group’s high-purity electrolyte, derived from vanadium mined in Queensland’s North-West minerals province.

This initiative not only underscores the commitment to sustainable energy solutions but also emphasises the pivotal role of local resources in driving technological advancements.

Vecco Group’s initiatives in mining and refining vanadium at their Julia Creek mine, alongside the establishment of Australia’s first vanadium electrolyte manufacturing facility in Townsville, mark commendable milestones, CMG reported.

The ongoing development of a commercial production facility at the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park underscores rapid progress towards operationalizing this vision.

Premier Miles underscored the broader implications of this initiative, indicating that the announcement demonstrates how their 75 per cent emissions reduction target by 2035 facilitates investment in new blue-collar clean economy jobs across regions.

“We know those batteries will provide deep storage into our own grid, but today we are taking it a step further. This means manufacturing the vanadium flow batteries needed in Australia to transition to renewable energy and supplying vanadium electrolyte to the world,” he remarked.

Minister Stewart also highlighted the economic potential, noting that there is potentially $500 billion of critical minerals in the North West Minerals Province, including vanadium.

He noted, “I have always said if we don’t manufacture our future someone else will and this announcement puts Townsville on the path to an even more exciting future.”

Vecco Group Managing Director Tom Northcott commented on the increasing demand for vanadium flow batteries globally to meet energy storage needs.

“Over 7.4GWh of vanadium flow battery projects globally are currently under construction or have been announced in the last 12 months. The decision for Idemitsu to market and deploy vanadium flow batteries using Sumitomo and Vecco products acknowledges the scale of the opportunity,” Northcott explained.

Scott Winter, managing director of Critical Minerals Group, extended congratulations to Vecco, Idemitsu, and Sumitomo Electric for firming up the supply chain and technical capability in Queensland.

Meanwhile, Steve Kovac, CEO of Idemitsu, expressed support for the agreement, highlighting their major shareholding in Critical Mineral Group as a strategic investment to support the clean energy transition and meet the growing demand for safe, clean, and reliable battery storage solutions in Australia and globally.