Federal government pumps millions into critical minerals projects


The federal government has announced it will provide new loans worth $400 million to aluminium materials manufacturer Alpha HPA to deliver the next stage of Australia’s first high-purity alumina processing facility in the Queensland port city of Gladstone.

The company’s stage one precursor production facility, which features Alpha’s licensed solvent extraction and high-purity alumina refining technology, is already producing 99.99% pure aluminium products in commercial quantities.

Alpha is now pushing ahead with the second stage of the Gladstone facility that is expected to be capable of producing 10,000 tonnes of high-purity alumina equivalent annually to help meet the rapidly expanding demand for lithium-ion batteries needed for electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable technologies.

The project is expected to create about 490 jobs during construction and more than 200 jobs when it is completed.

The loans will be provided by Export Finance Australia through the federal government’s Critical Minerals Facility and Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

The government is also lending $185 million to Australian miner Renascor Resources to fast track the first stage of its Siviour Graphite Project in South Australia.

Renascor said the project, being developed at Arno Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsular, will deliver purified graphite for use in lithium-ion batteries.

Stage one will deliver about 150 construction jobs and 125 ongoing jobs when the project is operational. Stage Two is expected to involve another 225 construction jobs.

Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King said Australia’s critical minerals and rare earths are “key to building renewable technologies such as solar panels, batteries and wind farms, as well as defence and medical technologies.”

“The investments announced today help create a new industry in Australia, supporting local jobs and economic development, and building the bedrock of a future made in Australia,” she said.

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