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Critical Minerals Group (ASX:CMG) Welcomes Groundbreaking Vanadium Battery Manufacturing Agreement in Townsville

Critical Minerals Group (ASX:CMG) 4 mins read

Sydney, Australia 23 February 2024 - ASX listed vanadium developer, Critical Minerals Group (ASX:CMG), is thrilled to announce its enthusiastic support for the recent collaboration agreement that marks a significant milestone in the establishment of a vanadium flow battery manufacturing supply chain in Townsville, North Queensland.

 

In a joint statement, Queensland Premier, The Honourable Steven Miles, and the Queensland Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals, The Honourable Scott Stewart, announced a non-binding collaboration agreement between Vecco Group, Sumitomo Electric, and Idemitsu. This group aims to manufacture, market, sell, and deliver batteries from North Queensland.

 

Based on publicly announced projects, globally there are 7.4GWh of vanadium batteries planned or under construction, requiring approximately 65,000t of vanadium. The number of projects is growing rapidly as Governments and energy generators around the world realise the substantial benefits of vanadium batteries as a flexible medium and long duration storage solution. This demonstrates significant demand for vanadium now and into the future. To put this into perspective, the CMG planned annual production is 10,500t of vanadium pentoxide, less than 16% of current demand, placing the company in a strong position alongside other producers in the Julia Creek region to supply into this growing market.

 

Press release -  https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/99762

 

This pioneering initiative involves a non-exclusive strategic collaboration between Idemitsu Australia, Sumitomo Electric Industries, and Vecco Group, setting the stage for an innovative leap in energy storage solutions.

Vanadium flow batteries, renowned for their scalability, long life, and safety, are increasingly becoming a critical component of the global shift towards renewable energy. The collaboration agreement signifies a monumental step towards self-sufficiency in energy storage manufacturing, leveraging Queensland’s rich vanadium resources for export into significant Australian and international markets.

Under this landmark 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 reinforces the importance of local resources in driving technological advancements.

Vecco Group's efforts in mining and refining vanadium at their Julia Creek mine, coupled with the establishment of Australia's first vanadium electrolyte manufacturing facility in Townsville, are commendable milestones. The ongoing development of a commercial production facility at the Cleveland Bay Industrial Park further highlights the rapid progress towards operationalising this vision.

Critical Minerals Group is proud to be part of a community that is at the forefront of developing critical mineral resources essential for the renewable energy sector. This agreement exemplifies the potential for Queensland to become a leader in the renewable energy industry, promising significant economic benefits and job creation in the region.

The establishment of a complete vanadium flow battery manufacturing supply chain in Townsville is a testament to the collaborative spirit of innovation and sustainability. It represents a significant leap forward in Queensland's journey towards becoming a global hub for renewable energy technologies.

Critical Minerals Group is committed to supporting this initiative and looks forward to the positive impacts it will have on the local economy, job creation, and the global renewable energy landscape. We congratulate all parties involved in this agreement and eagerly anticipate the advancements this collaboration will bring to the energy sector.

Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, highlighted the broader implications of this initiative, stating, “Today’s (21st February 2024) announcement shows how our 75% emissions reduction target by 2035 secures investment in new blue-collar clean economy jobs across our regions.” He further emphasized the local benefits, “We are taking vanadium from Julia Creek – one of the world's biggest and best vanadium resources – and turning it into batteries here, creating more local jobs. 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.”

Resources Minister and Townsville MP Scott Stewart also commented on the economic potential, “There is potentially $500 billion dollars of critical minerals in the North West Minerals Province and vanadium is one of the commodities Queensland can supply to the world. 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 demand for vanadium flow batteries, “Demand for vanadium flow batteries is rapidly increasing to meet the world’s energy storage demands. 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.”

Scott Winter, Managing Director of Critical Minerals Group, expressed his congratulations to the parties involved: “Congratulations to Vecco, Idemitsu, and Sumitomo Electric for this significant step in firming up the supply chain and technical capability into Queensland. As the transition to achieve our Nett zero target is progressing, we are seeing the demand for safe, reliable, and consistent grid-scale energy storage using vanadium flow batteries growing significantly. CMG, along with its major shareholder Idemitsu, has a strategy to support this demand and is well along the path to being a major supporting supplier of vanadium electrolyte with the security of its own production of vanadium pentoxide.”

Steve Kovac, Chief Executive Officer of Idemitsu highlighted his support for the agreement, Idemitsu’s major shareholding in Critical Mineral Group is further indication of our support for the vanadium battery supply chain developing in QLD and Australia.  This is a strategic investment to support the clean energy transition and the growing national and global demand for safe, clean and reliable battery storage solutions.”

 


Contact details:

Jane Morgan

jm@janemorganmanagement.com.au

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