Allens advises on first investments for Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund

Allens has advised Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) on the first two investments by the QIC managed Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund (QCMBTF): a $20 million facility to EQ Resources for the Mt Carbine tungsten project and a $30 million facility to Alpha Sapphire for its sapphire glass business.

The transactions are the first for the Fund, established as part of Queensland’s critical minerals strategy, and involves QIC extending its investment expertise into the mining and mineral processing sectors for the first time.

The $20 million investment will assist EQ Resources to extend its tungsten mine north-west of Cairns and commence drill testing and trial mining. Tungsten is a critical mineral that is a key component in solar cells, wind turbines and batteries.

The $30 million investment will see Alpha Sapphire Pty Ltd accelerate the installation of two purpose-built furnaces to manufacture sapphire glass from critical mineral high-purity alumina in Gladstone. Sapphire glass is a highly durable, scratch resistant synthetic ceramic which is used in applications including smart phones and high-end watches.

For both investments, Allens advised on negotiation of the key facility agreement, related security arrangements, other transaction documents and legal due diligence on the underlying projects.

‘These investments are part of a broader wave of investment into the critical minerals sector, and while lithium, nickel and rare earths may have been in the headlines more, these transactions demonstrates the breadth of opportunities in the Australian critical minerals sector,’ said co-lead Partner John Hedge.

‘We are proud of working with QIC and the Fund on bringing the Queensland government’s vision for growing the critical minerals sector to fruition. We look forward to continuing to support clients as the sector goes from strength to strength.’

The advice provided builds on Allens’ deep experience in financing in the resources sector and leading critical minerals transactions and projects, drawing on the expertise of a cross-practice, national team.

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