QEM and UQ partnership to produce first V2O5 

Critical minerals explorer and developer QEM (ASX:QEM) has partnered with the University of Queensland (UQ) to produce the first high purity vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) from an industrial waste stream in Australia. 

QEM, which has a $24.22 market capitalisation, says it engaged UQ regarding the Circular Economy project to upscale vanadium-bearing catalysts sourced from Queensland industrial waste. 

According to QEM, UQ undertook a small-scale laboratory demonstration of all the processing steps in recycling the vanadium catalyst into a high purity vanadium oxide product greater than 99%. 

This research and development project is part of the Trailblazer Universities Program for Resources Technology and Critical Minerals, led by Curtin University in partnership with UQ and James Cook University.  

QEM Managing Director Gavin Loyden says: “The waste recycling project with UQ ties strongly to our ESG goals to position QEM’s projects and activities at the forefront of environmental and social responsibility within the mining and energy sectors. 

This collaboration with UQ builds on QEM’s umbrella agreement with the university from September 2022 when The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute commenced mineral characterisation and beneficiation work for QEM’s flagship critical minerals project by characterising the mineralogy of QEM’s Julia Creek shale post-oil extraction to assist in optimising vanadium beneficiation to further improve vanadium pentoxide yields. 

With UQ’s assistance, QEM seeks to accelerate the introduction of Queensland-sourced and processed V2O5 into the market. QEM remains committed to its goal of supplying V2O5 from our primary vanadium resource at Julia Creek.”

Vanadium pentoxide is an essential component of the electrolyte used in vanadium flow batteries.  

The collaboration with UQ follows QEM entering into an agreement with Incitec Pivot (IPL) on 27 June 2023 to collect vanadium-bearing spent catalyst from IPL’s Mount Isa Sulphuric Acid Plant and process this waste into high purity V2O5. 

QEM also entered into a similar agreement on 7 March 2023 for the supply of spent catalyst from Sun Metals Corporation’s Townsville Zinc Refinery. 

QEM is focused on the exploration and development of its flagship Julia Creek Project covering 250km-square in the Julia Creek area of North West Queensland.  

The Julia Creek vanadium and oil shale project is a unique, ‘world-class’ resource with the potential to utilise sustainable energy solutions in the production of energy fuels and vanadium pentoxide.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: QEM Ltd
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.