Australia’s only primary tungsten producer, EQ Resources, is processing waste from an historic Far North Queensland mine to produce the critical mineral in increasing demand around the world, while creating good job jobs for the local community.
EQ Resources and its German-headquartered partner CRONIMET are using modern processing technology to produce tungsten concentrate from waste dumps at the historic Mt Carbine mine helping generate local jobs.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the transformation underway at Mt Carbine reflected one of the key themes of the State Government’s 30-year-plan for the resources industry: new opportunity for old mines.
“Changing technology and demand means some of our old mines could be given new life, creating jobs, which is what’s happening at Mount Carbine,” he said.
“With CRONIMET, a global metals specialist, EQ Resources has refurbished, commissioned, and expanded the Mt Carbine processing plant to extract tungsten from the mine’s waste dump, which has effectively become a low-grade tungsten stockpile.
“The mine is now providing more than 60 good, secure jobs for locals, and with the joint venture’s plans to re-start hard rock mining, the project could create more than 100 jobs.”
The project incorporates the old tungsten mine and modernised and upgraded processing facilities, using state of the art ore-sorting technology. Waste from this process is finding a new use as road base and aggregates. Waste from the re-processing also is sold for coastal protection projects and boat ramps on the nearby coast.
Tungsten, also known as wolfram, is prized for its hardness, durability, and is resistant to corrosion. Its wide ranging-uses include solar technology, wind turbine blades, drill bits and filaments for lighting.
The European Commission recognised tungsten in 2020 as having the highest economic importance of all raw materials in the European industrial system, and it is listed by the USA, Japan, India and Australia as a critical mineral.