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The Federal Government is granting Major Project Status to a $560 million NSW project in order to speed up Australia’s role in the global battery supply chain.

Cobalt Blue Holdings’ Broken Hill Cobalt Project will produce 16,700 tonnes of high purity cobalt sulphate per year, a highly sought after form of this critical mineral, used in the manufacture of lithium ion batteries. 

This production will build downstream processing capacity enabling the product to be fed into the global market’s growing demand for battery products. 

The project will also produce 300,000 tonnes of elemental sulphur each year which will reduce Australia’s dependence on imports for fertiliser production. 

Growth in the New South Wales mining town and surrounding region will be supported with 450 jobs during the project’s two-year construction phase and 410 jobs each year during 17 years of full production.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the project would help further cement Australia’s reputation as a critical minerals powerhouse. 

“The Broken Hill Cobalt Project’s pilot plant has already produced samples for shipping to battery precursor manufacturers across the country and the world – and now we’re helping to supercharge its potential,” Mr Taylor said. 

“This mine will not only help the surrounding regional communities in and around Broken Hill, it will also help power the growing battery industry and reduce emissions.”

Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said the project demonstrated the incredible potential of Australia’s critical minerals to boost the country’s reputation as a leading and reliable supplier of the resources the world needs.

“Once operational, the Broken Hill Cobalt Project will further open up new opportunities for Australian resources exports, especially given the incredible demand for high quality cobalt,” Mr Pitt said. 

“We have tremendous, rich reserves of cobalt and projects such as this one will allow us to take full advantage of them.” 

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the Broken Hill Cobalt Project would bring significant job and economic opportunities to the region. 

“Projects such as this will help guarantee our region’s future prosperity and build on our rich and proud mining history,” Mr Coulton said.

Major Project Status is the Australian Government’s formal recognition of a project’s national significance to Australia. The initiative is administered by the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, which provides facilitation services to major projects seeking assistance to navigate the federal government regulatory approvals pathway. 

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