R&D facility investment of $5.7M supports EV innovation in Mackay

The Resources Centre of Excellence (RCOE) in Mackay, Queensland, is expanding to support the new economy minerals sector which is vital to emerging energy technologies including electric vehicles and long-life batteries.

An allocation of $5.7 million from the 2022-23 State Budget, according to Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, will fund a new future industries development hub at the centre over the next three years.

“This is a major win for our resources sector, for our regions, and for regional jobs of tomorrow,” said Dick.

“Our government is a strong supporter of the RCOE, having put in more than half the $7 million investment that made this centre a reality.

“The new funding will allow Mackay’s Resources Centre of Excellence to increase their work within the new economy minerals sector.

“It will ensure we have the skilled workforce and sharpest minds working in our mines.

“New economy minerals will be in demand for decades to come, and Queensland has world-class deposits, particularly in our north.

“A strong new economy minerals sector, supported by Mackay’s Resources Centre of Excellence, will generate more prosperity for our state.”

Last November the Palaszczuk Government committed at least $10 million towards a common-user new economy mineral processing plant in Townsville, initially for vanadium miners.

A number of new vanadium projects are also currently proposed at Julia Creek in the state’s remote north-west.

Resources Minister, Scott Stewart, said new economy minerals presented significant opportunities for Queensland.

“That’s why we’re making investments like this now, to ensure a strong future for our resources sector,” said Stewart.

“Whether that’s in infrastructure such as the vanadium processing plant or with this future industries development hub, these are down payments on high-skill, well-paid jobs, particularly in regional Queensland.

“Our government’s vision is to mine, process and manufacture these minerals here in Queensland, taking them all the way from pit to product.

“From copper and bauxite/alumina to silica, vanadium and cobalt, we want to maximise our minerals for the benefit of every Queenslander.”

RCOE CEO, Steven Boxall, said it’s been an absolute pleasure working with the Queensland Government to deliver and activate the Resources Centre of Excellence Stage 1, which is focused on supporting the traditional resources sector.

“We are extremely excited at now being able to implement the RCOE Stage 2: Future Industries Hub, to capture, incubate and grow the industries of the future, putting both our region and Queensland in the box seat to drive low carbon innovation,” said Boxall.

“The METS sector in Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday has the skills and experience to transition and support the emerging new economy minerals sector, which will help secure jobs for the future and our regional economy.”

Expansion of the resources centre is one of the new economy minerals proposals in the Palaszczuk Government’s draft 30-year-plan for the resources industry.

The Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan is currently being finalised after public consultation.

In other news, ownership of the Mackay-based Crokers Truck Centre is set to be transferred to Western Truck Group (WTG).

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