Dec 17, 2020

Defence gives Sconi all-clear to operate in training area

Defence gives Sconi all-clear to operate in training area

Defence has paved the way to allow mining activities to co-exist on land being developed near Greenvale in North Queensland as part of the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI).

The signing of a Deed of Access for resource extraction linked to the Sconi project would provide certainty for the planned nickel and cobalt mine and processing plant to proceed, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said.

“The signing of this deed with Sconi demonstrates Defence’s commitment to coexist with the resources industry on the land that Defence has acquired for training under the ASMTI,” Senator Reynolds said.

“When the ASMTI initiative reaches maturity, up to 14,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel will conduct training in Central and North Queensland for up to 18 weeks per year, for 25 years, which will providing significant economic benefits to the region.

“Realisation of the ASMTI, and the Sconi project also, shows the economic development potential of regional North Queensland and provides a vital boost to the local economy and jobs as the economy recovers from COVID-19.”

Australian Mines is advancing the $1.4 billion Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project, with construction to begin by mid-2023.

The project will feature a 2Mtpa ore processing plant producing an estimated 7000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate and 46,800 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year over the mine’s initial 30-year life.

Defence has also entered into Deeds of Access to allow two companies to explore for minerals within the Greenvale Training Area.

CPB Contractors was recently appointed for the first phase of works for the new Defence Training Area near Greenvale.

Upon the successful completion of the development phase of the $23.5 million contract with Defence, CPB Contractors will then be engaged to deliver the $800 million of facilities under the ASMTI with construction anticipated to commence by mid-2022.