Project Updates

Project Update March 2023

  Monday 6th March, 2023

Community Grants Program First Round Now Open

Our first round of the community grants program opened 27 February and will remain open for applications through to 31 March.

Gippsland Critical Minerals is an active and supportive member of our local communities in East Gippsland.

Our Community Grants Program aims to support community initiatives that enhance the quality of life, heritage, recreation and cultural opportunities and provide long lasting benefits to the wider community. Grant funding is available for projects within the Educational, Recreational, Environmental and Social aspects of the community in which we operate.

Application for our grants program can be made via our website

Critical Minerals Development Grant Application

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia the Hon Madeleine King announced in January that the Australian Government had released guidelines for new grants to help develop Australia’s critical minerals sector, support downstream processing, create jobs across regional Australia and support global efforts to achieve net-zero.

As the Fingerboards Critical Minerals Project aligns well with the aims and criteria of the grants program we have made an application to support our work programs through 2023 and 2024.

Our Project will help strengthen Australia’s sovereign capabilities in critical minerals, which are crucial to low-emissions technologies such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, batteries as well as aerospace and defence applications.

Downstream Processing in Australia

In February Gippsland Critical Minerals entered into a downstream processing collaboration agreement with a company planning to develop a downstream processing facility in the Northern Territory.

The Fingerboards Critical Minerals Project is the world’s largest, highest grade heavy rare earth deposit. Differentiating it from other rare earth element (REE) projects, the resource contains globally significant amounts of Dysprosium (Dy) and Terbium (Tb) which are used as additives to permanent magnets which improve magnetisation and high temperature performance required in electric vehicle and wind turbine applications.

The production volume of heavy rare earths from the project is sufficient to stimulate the development of a new domestic supply chain, which could deliver 15-20% of global heavy rare earth demand.

The volumes of heavy rare earth elements which the Fingerboards Critical Minerals Project will produce will incentivise further downstream processing of these products within Australia. This will further reduce the reliance on China for these minerals for both Australia and our international partners.

Application for Renewal of Retention Licence No. 2026

In August of 2022 the company made an application for renewal of retention licence No. 2026 for a period of five years under section 29(1) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990.

As part of the work program under the application we have committed to undertake a bulk excavation to demonstrate the extraction process together with processing of the heavy minerals with the use of centrifuges for dewatering through to final closure of the excavation and rehabilitation.

Annual conference attended by Gippsland Critical Minerals

Gippsland Critical Minerals attended the annual Future in mining conference in Sydney. The Hon Madeleine King MP’s opening speech of the conference highlighted the importance of Australia’s critical mineral resource sector. Below is an excerpt:

"Holding a Cabinet meeting in a resource hub like Port Hedland is I think a sign of how much this Government supports the resources sector and the future of mining in this country.

The Future of Mining Conference is an excellent platform for the industry to share knowledge and discuss approaches to meeting community and customer expectations in the context of the global push to reach net zero by 2050.

This conference is about the future of mining. And I am happy to tell you today mining has a very bright future under the Albanese Government.

Australia has an opportunity to seize the moment to leverage its critical minerals endowment to fuel the global clean energy transition.

Our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050 means we will need more mining, not less, as we seek to extract the minerals we need to build batteries, semi-conductors and wind farms.

I have said previously that I see this effort as a national mission – that is critical to support the world in getting to net zero while creating new industries for the future here in Australia.

So, it is a good idea to take something of a stocktake from time to time at how we’re going in realising our mineral development aspirations.
That way we identify the things we’ve done well, and not so well, and adjust our strategies accordingly.

At the outset, we can all agree on one thing: the critical minerals boom shows few signs of slowing.

International demand for Australia’s lithium, rare earths, manganese, cobalt, and the other minerals crucial for clean energy technologies, remains strong.
New mines are being planned and existing mines expanded. We’re adding to our downstream processing capacity, which was a central part of our industry diversification plans.

In the rare earths sector, Australia is currently only involved in the mining and beneficiation stages of the long and complex rare earths supply chain.

But we are moving to capture more of the next stages – cracking and leaching and oxide production – onshore.

Lynas Rare Earths’ new facility in Kalgoorlie to process concentrate from its Mt Weld mine helped cement its status as the only significant rare earths producer outside of China."

For further information about the Fingerboards Project:

Free call: 1800 791 396