Group 6 Metals going swimmingly at Dolphin Mine

Group 6 Metals (ASX:G6M) has steadily increased blast size and frequency over the past month at the company’s wholly owned Dolphin Tungsten Mine located on King Island, Tasmania.

Following the start of drill and blast activities at the Dolphin open pit in early August, the company says key monitoring parameters are also remaining well below regulatory requirements and in keeping with community expectations.

Initial areas of focus are West Pit and North Pit for low strip ore mining while blasted overburden removal is being carried out on the eastern side of pit to initially access the B-lens followed by the high-grade C-lens below.

During August, a total of 16,374 tonnes of ore and 119,530 bank cubic metres (BCM) of surveyed waste material was mined, as the mining progresses through the transitional zones in various areas of the Dolphin pit.

Group 6 Metals notes blast monitoring data confirmed that key environmental parameters are in line with modelling and well below the permit thresholds.

Drill and blast activities are being ramped up in September which will increase the volume of blasted material available, increasing mine productivity.

In August, the process team continued to work on optimising the process plant throughput and performance. Rectifications were made to the crusher circuit which improved throughput of ROM ore and to the dressing circuit which resulted in an improvement in the concentrate quality.

The plant processed 15,031 dry metric tonnes (DMT) of ore which was an increase of 20% on the previous month.

Addressing the progress, Group 6 Metals Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Keith McKnight says: “Significant progress was made during the month on mine production with increasing blast frequency in the Dolphin Pit. It is pleasing that the key measurements for blasting are well below the limits allowed, and we are now recovering higher grade ore which is resulting in higher throughput through the crushing circuit and process plant.

While plant utilisation was lower for August due a planned shutdown at the beginning of the month, and some unplanned stoppages throughout the month, steady progress has been made with plant rectification works and operating procedures, optimising the performance and improving the overall resilience of the plant. Tungsten concentrate has been shipped to both of our offtake partners and we look forward to ramping up production to increase shipments over the coming months.”

Tungsten concentrate has been shipped to both of our offtake partners and we look forward to ramping up production to increase shipments over the coming months

Tungsten is a critical mineral used in a variety of applications, including steelmaking, mining, construction, electronics, and defence. The global demand for tungsten is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, driven by demand from the construction, mining and defence sectors.

While trading volumes for tungsten products has been lower over the first six (6) months of the year, as excess stocks from 2022 are rundown, the Ammonium Paratungstate (APT) CIF Rotterdam prices have remained robust at US$305-$325 per MTU.  

Meanwhile, the company has executed unsecured loan facilities with three of its major shareholders raising $7 million. The funds will be used to fund the project during the ramp up period.

The terms of the loans are 12 months, with termination dates in early September 2024.

The loans are interest only with repayment due on the termination dates. Early repayment is permitted at any time.

Chairman Johann Jacobs says the company is grateful to have strong support from 3 of its major shareholders who continue to show confidence in the project.

“Our shareholders have stepped in to support the company during the most challenging period in the Company’s transition through construction, commissioning and ramp-up to steady state operations.”

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: Group 6 Metals
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.