Group 6 Metals Limited (ASX: G6M) has reached commercial production at its flagship Dolphin tungsten mine on King Island, separated from Tasmania by the Bass Strait. The mine originally was in operation from 1917 to 1992, first as a pit and then from underground. It was one of the highest-grade tungsten mines in the western world at the time.
The company is focused on producing high grade tungsten concentrate from its 100%-owned Dolphin mine. Group 6’s mid-term objective is to investigate opportunities to value-add the product for supply into the upstream tungsten industry.
The company has reopened the pit, reaching commercial rates of 70% runtime as of June this year. More than 10,000t of ore grading 0.3% tungsten oxide (WO3) was processed that month, and 10t of saleable concentrate was produced containing between 55% WO3 in course concentrate and 68% WO3 in fine concentrate.
Group 6 Metals, previously known as King Island Scheelite Limited (ASX: KIS), is an Australian resources exploration, development, and production company. The company’s name honours tungsten as tungsten is a member of Group 6 of the periodic table along with chromium and molybdenum, as well as being a critical mineral and a geopolitically strategic resource.
The contract for the mineral processing plant was awarded to Gekko Systems. The plant has a capacity of 400,000t of ore annually. The flowsheet is largely based on gravity recovery (a specialty of Gekko) followed by a concentrate dressing circuit. Consideration is being given to increase scheelite recovery in the plant by the addition of leaching the fine tailings.
“We are proud to achieve commercial production of the Dolphin mine processing plant on King Island. This project represents a remarkable achievement for Gekko, Group 6 Metals, and the entire team involved,” commented Andrew Edmondston, CEO of Gekko Systems.
“The processing plant will undoubtedly contribute to the sustainable supply of tungsten and support numerous industries that rely on this critical mineral.”
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