In late December last year, the New South Wales Independent Planning Commission announced their approval of Modification 4 to the Development Consent for Clean TeQ Sunrise. This allows us to implement a number of improvements to the project.
I joined with the Shire Councils of Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes to sign our Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) in December 2018. The VPA will ensure that the benefits of Clean TeQ Sunrise will be shared among all our stakeholders – with more than $18 million in funding for local initiatives to be made available over the first 21 years of Clean TeQ Sunrise, following a formal investment decision to proceed with the mine.
The Front-End Engineering and Design contract for the Clean TeQ Sunrise processing plant was signed with Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) in January. I was in China for the signing ceremony and meetings with the MCC team where I again saw their strong support for the Project and comprehensive professional advantages. I look forward to keeping you updated on this work.
During January, Clean TeQ Sunrise and Spiecapag completed the Raw Water Pipeline (RWP) survey works. The survey ran from the southern end of the RWP route and concluded at the Clean TeQ Sunrise site. As always, health and safety were a priority throughout the project – with extreme summer temperatures presenting challenging conditions.
We are seeing strong interest in Clean TeQ Sunrise from all levels of the global electric vehicle supply chain as we continue project financing and offtake discussions. We are confident of delivering a project financing solution prior to a final investment decision this year.
As we look ahead, our team in Parkes will have a new base soon, with the fit-out of the Clarinda Street office well underway. Our shopfront in Condobolin continues to be an excellent base to engage with the community; it is also used by members of the project team.
I look forward to spending time in the region and staying in touch throughout 2019.
Under the VPA, Clean TeQ will contribute approximately $10 million towards community enhancements for the first 21 years of Clean TeQ Sunrise, following a formal investment decision to proceed with the mine. Clean TeQ will also contribute approximately $340,000 each year to fund maintenance of the road network it will use, with an additional investment to upgrade various roads and intersections. This will ensure its activity does not place undue pressure on the local road infrastructure. The signing triggered an initial investment of $400,000 into the local region.
MOD 4 allows Clean TeQ to implement a number of improvements designed to optimise the Clean TeQ Sunrise operation and ensure the full benefits of the project are realised. It also makes sure that Clean TeQ Sunrise is operating under conditions that meet the requirements of current regulations and policy.
Clean TeQ appreciates the input of everyone who participated in the MOD 4 review process – including those who attended the public meeting, made written submissions, or participated in an information session.
Weighing in at just 35kg, the prototype of the Light Rider is about 30% lighter than most conventional e-motorcycles. It can go from zero to 80km/h in seconds and travel close to 60km between charges.
It’s the patented aluminium-magnesium-scandium alloy, Scalmalloy®, that gives the Light Rider its edge. When scandium is added to aluminium it has a profound impact on its physical properties. The alloy is described as weighing the same as regular aluminium, but with a strength relative to titanium. Other benefits include better corrosion resistance and the ability to weld or 3D print the material without losing strength.
Clean TeQ has worked in collaboration with Airbus and APWorks on the development of the scandium market since 2015. Scandium supply from Clean TeQ Sunrise will have the potential to accelerate adoption of scandium in the next generation of lightweight, high-performance aluminium alloys for the transportation and 3D printing sectors. Projects like Light Rider help pave the way for future adoption of aluminium-scandium alloys on a much broader scale.
Clean TeQ Sunrise’s Alexandra Burke spent a beautiful morning under the gums at Bedgerabong Public School learning about the great programs the school is involved with across music, STEM and personal development. Alex also paid a visit to Forbes Public and Forbes North Public School, who, alongside Condobolin Public School, run Breakfast Clubs. Clean TeQ Sunrise is proud to support these Brekky Club initiatives as part of its investment in education. Each child can have an equal start to the day thanks to the Brekky Clubs supplied by schools and volunteers.
Under the contract, MCC will work with Clean TeQ to manage project scope, critical design criteria and equipment and materials selection during the FEED phase. A key deliverable from the contract is an update of the fixed Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract price for the Clean TeQ Sunrise process plant, which is required for Clean TeQ to approve a Final Investment Decision to proceed with construction.
The RWP will be constructed within the road reserve from the Clean TeQ Sunrise borefield, 15km west of Bedgerabong and head north to the mine site located approximately 70km away near the village of Fifield.
The survey team included a number of technical and environmental specialists who were supported by Clean TeQ Sunrise personnel. Surveyors ground-truthed the RWP alignment against approved plans, while environmental scientists undertook assessments on potential environmental impacts. Engineering and construction constraints and geotechnical soil testing also formed part of the survey. Information obtained through the survey will be used to produce the final RWP design. Clean TeQ Sunrise will consult relevant stakeholders prior to construction of the RWP commencing and thanks everyone who lives along the route and responded to the communications provided to them about the recent survey.
Our CCC is chaired by Lisa Andrews, an independent Chairperson appointed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. The CCC met again on 7 March in Condobolin where members were provided with an update on recent and forthcoming Clean TeQ Sunrise activities. Invited guests Christine Fawcett (Manager Environmental Operations) and Gareth Thomas (Principal Inspector) from the Resources Regulator provided members with an overview of the regulator’s role and functions. Minutes and presentations from the meeting are published on the Clean TeQ website and can be viewed here. The CCC meet quarterly, with the next meeting in June.
In Australia there is no debate about what the lowest cost source of power generation is – and it’s renewables. The problem has always been that those energy sources are intermittent. The way to resolve that is to store power through battery systems. And from a cost perspective that is still the challenge. Once we can integrate a renewable power system with an energy storage solution at a cost-effective price, we will have an ideal solution.
You’re now starting to see a range of EVs enter the market that can drive for up to 500km on a single charge. While some of those are coming out of well-known brands in North America like Tesla, the real story of what’s happening with EVs is taking place in China. You’re seeing enormous growth in both battery production capacity and the automotive sector bringing a whole range of new EVs to the market.
If we look at projections for EVs over the next 10 years, we’re going to have to see a step-change in nickel, cobalt and lithium production just to keep pace with even the most conservative forecasts of EV growth. Australia has a chance to be a very significant player.
We focus very much on industrial technologies that find better ways to do things – particularly with a better environmental impact. We run three divisions. The first is focused on battery materials, so we are developing a mine in Central West NSW that will be one of the world’s largest producers of battery raw materials – nickel and cobalt. The second division is in water treatment. We’re building water treatment plants all around the world – they might be in mining operations, power plants or industrial settings. The third division is a new materials division. We’re currently in the process of developing what are called graphene membranes to treat water.
The work of all our divisions hinges on a foundation technology that Clean TeQ has developed over the last 25 years called ion-exchange. If something is in solution, like metals or pollution, we can pull it out selectively using this system. The beauty of using ion-exchange at Clean TeQ Sunrise is that we’ll extract the metals in exactly the form that the battery industry requires.
It’s a great area to develop a mine as we have a lot of skilled workers in the region who are very familiar with the mining industry. We’re looking to run the mine with about 300 permanent staff through operations. In construction we’re looking at about 1000 people. It will be a big generator of value for the region once it’s up and running.
This interview has been condensed and edited. Listen to the full interview here.
Clean TeQ Sunrise has recently welcomed:
In addition, we have had members of our Project team working from our Condobolin shop-front, staying locally and appreciating the hospitality shown to them by the community. We are pleased to have members of our team living across the region and enjoying the benefits of residing in Central West NSW.
Be sure to stop and have a chat at:
Trundle Coffee Cart
Bedgerabong Country Fair
Clean TeQ Sunrise school holiday BBQ in Condobolin
Trundle Coffee Cart
Stay tuned to the Facebook page for details of other community events.