Australian mining company Multicom Resources has secured a prescribed project status from the Queensland Government for its proposed A$470m ($310.3m) Saint Elmo vanadium mine.

Situated 25km east of Julia Creek in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province, the mine is expected to have an initial production capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum.

Vanadium is a key material in the manufacturing of batteries.

The project involves development of an open cut mine.

Around 200 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase and a further 150 jobs once the project becomes operational.

The mine is expected to attain a peak annual production capacity of 20,000 tonnes over time.

Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said: “The proponent will mine and process vanadium for use in the growth market of vanadium batteries and new technologies within the renewable energy sector, and in high-strength steel production.”

 Project construction slated to commence this year

Construction of the project is scheduled to commence in late 2020 with vanadium exports planned to start in 2021.

Multicom Resources CEO Shaun McCarthy said: “We are very grateful for the continued support provided by the Queensland Government to the Saint Elmo Vanadium Project.

“Gaining the required permits and approvals in a timely and efficient manner is a critical aspect of our development plans.”

Dick said that the project complies with the Queensland Government’s North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy, which aims to develop enhanced supply chains and create sustainable communities.

Dick further said: “In addition to the mine, the project includes a processing plant, rail spur line into the mine site, workforce accommodation village and associated infrastructure including an off-site water supply dam and 20km pipeline to the project site.”

The mine is anticipated to have 30-year operational life.