Australian Mines’ Sconi asset has been made a “prescribed project” by the Queensland government, meaning development will be fast tracked.
The Queensland government has declared Australian Mines’ (ASX:AUZ) Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium asset a “prescribed project,” boosting its status to help fast track development.
In a statement released Friday (January 25), the company said Queensland’s independent coordinator-general had recommended to Cameron Dick, minister for state development, manufacturing, infrastructure and planning, that Sconi receive prescribed status.
Dick has since greenlit the idea, acknowledging Sconi’s contribution to the local economy.
“This prescribed project status will help streamline approvals and fast-track delivery for AUZ,” Dick said in a statement. “This status is also recognition of the significant positive benefits the project will bring to North Queensland and our state as a whole.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also applauded Sconi’s new rank on the totem pole, highlighting the job creation that will come with the project’s development.
“It’s a very happy new year for North Queensland. We’re talking about a project set to create up to 500 jobs during its two-year construction period,” she said. “And we’ll see more than 300 full-time equivalent jobs for the 18-year operational period.”
The news comes just days after Australian Mines acquired a 13-acre parcel of freehold land in Greenvale, located just 10 kilometers away from the Sconi project.
According to Dick, Australian Mines has set a “strong mandate” to invest in the region through a $500,000 annual contribution for training and skills development for process workers. He went on to say the company’s investments will help upgrade local Greenvale infrastructure, and improve water supply, regional public roads and the Greenvale regional airport.
The company released a bankable feasibility study for the $1.4-billion project in November 2018, and it lays out estimated annual revenue of $512 million over the asset’s 18-year lifespan.
Two million tonnes of ore will be processed at the Greenvale site each year, producing 8,500 tonnes of cobalt, 53,500 tonnes of nickel sulfate and 77 tonnes of scandium oxide annually.
Construction at Sconi is expected to begin this year, with operations set to be in gear by 2022.
Australian Mines’ share price was up 10.53 percent at the end of trading on the ASX on Friday, closing the day at AU$0.042.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.