13 May 2024

Underground return to drive 100 local Mount Carbine tungsten jobs

| Lyndon Keane
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Tungsten miner EQ Resources says more than 100 jobs could be created in Mount Carbine following the announcement the company had received a $20 million secured debt facility from the Queensland Investment Corporation. Photo: Supplied.

More than 100 jobs could be created in Mount Carbine following the announcement EQ Resources (EQR) is gearing up to recommence underground mining at its tungsten operation.

The boost to mining operations comes on the back of a $20 million secured debt facility provided by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), with the funding to allow the purchase of new plant equipment, as well as drill testing and trial mining to explore Mount Carbine’s tungsten resources.

It is anticipated the debt facility will provide a mechanism to extend the life of the mine by up to six years and create up to 100 local jobs by accelerating EQR’s processing expansion and underground development programs.

EQR chief executive officer Kevin MacNeill said the decision was a “strong endorsement” of the company’s strategic approach to becoming a leading global tungsten miner.

“This financing not only supports our recently announced expansion program to double capacity at Mount Carbine, but we also consider this a strong endorsement of our corporate strategy to further establish ourselves as a leading and responsible producer of globally relevant critical minerals,” he said.

“We look forward to responsibly contributing to the development of clean energy technologies alongside our offtake partners using high-quality tungsten powders in battery technologies and energy storage applications.”

READ ALSO Tungsten mine introduces suppression measures for Mount Carbine residents

The return to underground mining will be supported by the Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund, and QIC state chief investment officer Allison Hill said the $20m would allow the tungsten mine – Australia’s largest – to add to the supply of the resource ahead of forecast global shortages.

“There are relatively few mines globally in a position to fill anticipated supply-demand gaps for tungsten as existing outputs are challenged and demand for clean energy technologies grows,” Ms Hill said.

“Mount Carbine is one of them, where workers are on track to produce around 3,000 tonnes of tungsten concentrate every year.

“While the existing open-cut mine is forecast to reach its end of life by 2029, supply-demand deficits are expected to run well beyond into the 2030s.

“[The investment] will allow EQR to kickstart plans to reopen historic underground mining operations and explore a dormant tungsten deposit with considerable potential for additional mineralisation.”

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