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QEM investigates green hydrogen potential at Julia Creek project

QEM Ltd says it has commenced studies into ‘green hydrogen’ opportunities on site at its flagship 100%-owned Julia Creek vanadium and oil shale open-pit project in Queensland, Australia.

The studies will investigate the financial and regulatory requirements of the company to produce hydrogen on site at Julia Creek using a “green” solar-powered electrolyser. It is envisaged the hydrogen would initially be used as a support to the energy needs of other resources projects located in the North West Minerals Province of Queensland, but ultimately for the hydrogeneration of the company’s raw oil into transport fuels.

To assist in its assessment of capital and operating costs, the company has appointed E2C Advisory Pty Ltd. E2C previously assisted the company with the review of a processing technology using a hydrocarbon solution for oil shale extraction and have, QEM says, extensive experience in electrolysers used for hydrogen production.

QEM will commence discussions with the Queensland state government on progressing the approval process to access water resources for the potential development, focusing on securing the relevant approvals following the successful completion of the financial studies to be conducted by E2C.

Managing Director, Gavin Loyden, said the company was delighted to be working with experts who possess substantial expertise in the hydrogen field.

“The commissioning of these studies will lay the groundwork to advance our green hydrogen strategy at Julia Creek, amid increasingly buoyant market conditions and the project’s optimal location and resource profile to produce hydrogen on site,” he said.

“For example, the Queensland state government established a ministry for hydrogen in November 2020, as the state government seeks to encourage investment into the bourgeoning market. Crucially, the hydrogen strategy aligns with the broader strategic direction of Julia Creek, as QEM looks to target both the liquid fuels and renewable energy sectors.”

Julia Creek comes with a total JORC inferred resource of 2,760 Mt, and a JORC indicated area of 220 Mt that has an average vanadium oxide content of 0.3% and an oil component of 783 million barrels in the 3C category. QEM says it intends to pursue development of a standard open-pit mining method with a low strip ratio.