wolframite, a tungsten cousin used in lightbulb filament manufacturing

Australia’s premier tungsten producer, EQ Resources will begin producing tungsten concentrate by processing waste leftover from Queensland’s historic Mt Carbine mine.

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 reprocessing is also sold for coastal protection projects and boat ramps on the nearby coast.

State Resources Minister, Scott Stewart, said the transformation underway at Mt Carbine reflected one of the key themes of the Government’s 30-year-plan for the resources industry.

“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,” Mr Stewart 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 restart hard rock mining, the project could create more than 100 jobs.”

EQ Resources CEO, Kevin MacNeill, said the undertaking would breathe new life into the long-defunct mine.

“We were delighted to show the Resources Minister the progress we have made in breathing new life into Mt Carbine. We have great support from local service companies and are excited about the prospects for accelerating this critical mineral development in FNQ.”

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 United States, Japan, India and Australia as a critical mineral.

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