The Minister of Resources for Tasmania, Felix Ellis, delivered positive news this week for mineral development in the state. Record mining royalties were delivered with the results for 2021/22 topping last years figures by over $23 million. 

Exploration in the region also increased by 130 per cent, with an annual spend of over $32 million. The minister touted Tasmania’s strong regulatory framework and balanced approach to ‘sustainable resource management’ as a draw card for mining stakeholders. 

The state is being explored for renewable energy minerals with many of the ore bodies on crown land. Mining and minerals processing employs over 5000 people and contributes largely to the state’s exports figures, despite utilising a small footprint of just 2% of the landmass. 

Iron ore plays a dominant part with Grange Resources Savage River min. Tin is mined on the West Coast, alongside the Henty Gold mine owned by Catalyst Metals who recently reported high-grade gold drilling results and is contemplating extending the life of the mine. 

An exciting development is the reopening of the historic Dolphin Tungsten Mine, on King Island. Group 6 Metals has commenced construction on the redevelopment with production scheduled to begin in Q1. 2023. The mine holds a very high-grade deposit of the metal and with prices increasing considerably since the mine closed in 1992, and tungsten classified as a critical mineral, Group 6 are wasting no time in bringing the mine to production. 

Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

The redevelopment plan has been designed to preserve the environment around Grassy, where the mine is located and will create employment for locals in the region. The company has binding offtake agreements for the first 4 years of the mine life.

Chief executive officer of Group 6, Keith McKnight, said that the construction activities were progressing quickly and safely. 

“Significant progress has been made on the mechanical installation for the process plant with the installation of the ROM ore bin, crushing equipment, secondary screen, fine ore bin and associated conveyors being completed,” he reported last month, with other construction progressing well and vegetation clearing and earthworks well advanced. 

“Market conditions remain very positive with Ammonium Paratungstate (APT) prices remaining high and demand for tungsten forecast to increase significantly in 2022.” He added. 

As well as tungsten, Tasmania exports ores and concentrates of iron, copper, lead, zinc, tin, and high-grade silica.

Your feedback is important to us. If you enjoyed reading this Global Road Technology industry update and found it informative, please let us know by leaving a REVIEW.

Author – Troy Adams, Global Road Technology