QPM advances financing for $2.1 billion battery materials plant


Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) said it has already received indicative commitments from government-backed lending agencies exceeding $1.4 billion of conditional funding support to construct its Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) project that would refine ore to produce critical materials for use in the growing battery and electric vehicle (EV) markets.

To complement the government-backed support, the company and its debt advisor KPMG Corporate Finance have now also progressed talks with international and domestic commercial banks.

While details of the talks remain confidential, QPM confirmed it has already received non-binding short-form indicative term sheets from seven commercial banks.

QPM Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Grocott said the commitments are well in excess of the company’s required target.

“We are delighted at the response received to date from commercial financiers and their willingness to consider debt funding for the TECH project,” he said.

“Our strategy has been to initially target government-backed lending agencies and then to refine the funding structure through support from the commercial banks. This approach has borne fruit. We look forward to advancing through the due diligence phase and to credit approvals.”

The TECH project, being developed in the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct about 40 kilometres south of Townsville, would refine approximately 1.6 million tonnes of ore annually to produce critical materials for use in new-technology batteries.

It will process high-grade laterite ore imported from New Caledonia to yield nickel sulfate and cobalt sulphate, along with other valuable by-products.

QPM has offtake agreements in place to sell product to Korean companies LG Energy Solutions, the world’s largest battery manufacturer, and POSCO.

Automotive giant General Motors has also inked a deal to purchase nickel and cobalt sulphate produced at the facility.

Approximately 800 construction jobs as well as an estimated 1,700 operational jobs are set to be created by the TECH project.

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