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Critical Minerals names new leader to develop vanadium project

Scott Winter has been appointed as the new managing director and chief executive officer of Critical Minerals Group. Credit: File

ASX-listed Critical Minerals Group has appointed experienced mining engineer Scott Winter as its new managing director and CEO after Scott Drelincourt decided to step down from the helm of the company. Drelincourt was instrumental in delivering a maiden resource for Critical Minerals’ flagship Lindfield vanadium project in Queensland that was subsequently upgraded.

The project’s resource now stands at a towering 363 million tonnes grading 0.43 per cent vanadium oxide and 4.8 per cent aluminium oxide. A 254-million-tonne portion of the resource already sits in the higher-confidence “indicated” resource status.

The company recently added aluminium to its vanadium resource base and its scoping study will also look at the possibility of extracting a saleable high-purity alumina (HPA) product from Lindfield.

Mr Winter has experience in mine development and a broad range of technical, operational and construction expertise having worked in underground and open cut operations across a range of commodities including coal, copper, lead zinc, iron ore and lithium.

The company says he is an experienced mining engineer with almost 30 years experience across all aspects of mining exploration, development, engineering, financing and operations. Notably he is the former chief operating officer of entrepreneurial mining giant Mineral Resources and more recently held the role of interim chief executive officer and director at Jupiter Mines.

"Scott’s experience and operational achievements speak for themselves. He has operated the majority of his career in Queensland across a range of development and operational projects which gives the board the confidence that he can advance and complete the development of this significant Queensland mining project". Critical Minerals Group non-executive chair Alan Broome

The company’s Lindfield vanadium project covers 295 square kilometres in the North West mineral province of Queensland, about 30km from the town of Julia Creek.

Vanadium has been traditionally used in high-strength, low-alloy steel, however the current hype surrounding the metal is due to its central role in vanadium redox flow batteries that are suited to large, grid scale energy storage solutions.

Vanadium batteries have been found to handle more charge cycles, are easily expandable at little extra cost, are safer and have a lower decay rate than lithium-ion batteries, making them ideal for large-scale storage applications.

In 2021 the Queensland Government committed $10 million from the “Invested in Queensland” program towards a vanadium common user facility in Townsville for an industrial pilot and demonstration facility for mineral processing. Critical Minerals plans to leverage off the significant grants and incentives put in place to develop domestic vanadium production with a particular focus on vanadium redox flow batteries as a grid scale energy solution.

Earlier this year the Queensland Government allocated $75 million to the facility to support further extraction of high purity alumina, cobalt and rare earths in addition to vanadium production.

Critical Minerals says its Lindfield project is shaping as a key Queensland mining project at a time when global demand for vanadium is building through its use in redox flow battery systems.

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