This article is a sponsored feature from Mining.com.au partner Group 6 Metals Ltd. It is not financial advice. Talk to a registered financial expert before making investment decisions.
With both large and small investors demanding accountability on environmental issues from the broader mining industry, maintaining social licence has never been more important.
And with this in mind, Group 6 Metals (ASX:G6M) has been working to establish itself at the head of the pack when it comes to ESG credentials.
Sustainable redevelopment at its Dolphin Project, which is home to the highest-grade tungsten deposit of significant size in the western world, is being carried out with a heavy environment-and-community-first approach, which it hopes will serve as a benchmark to the mining industry.
Executive Chairman Johann Jacobs explains: “Group 6 Metals is committed to the redevelopment and long-term operation of the Dolphin Tungsten Mine in a responsible and sustainable manner in accordance with its regulatory approvals and management plans. This will ensure minimum impact to the surrounding landscape and protection of native wildlife, while providing jobs and economic opportunities for the people of King Island.”
Working to protect local endangered flora & fauna
Following the receipt of a series of regulatory approvals including an Environmental Protection Notice, G6M has developed a range of initiatives to ensure that it is not only meeting, but exceeding requirements via a series of detailed environmental management and monitoring plans.
“Group 6 Metals is committed to the redevelopment and long-term operation of the Dolphin Tungsten Mine in a responsible and sustainable manner”
Among these is a 33.7 hectare block of land that has been set aside as Conservation Covenant area on its mine site at Grassy, which will protect important tracts of Blue Gum eucalyptus forest that provide nesting sites and habitat for some of King Island’s threatened species, including the critically endangered Scrubtit, the endangered Brown Thornbill and the vulnerable Green Rosella.
This is a small but vital step, with reports that only 5% of the island’s original Blue Gum forest remains.
Government-backed clean energy reduces carbon output
In addition, Dolphin will be served by an upgraded power line from Hydro Tasmania, which will provide the mine with access to green renewable energy that will assist in reducing its overall carbon footprint.
This has been strongly backed by the Tasmanian Government, which has agreed to provide up to $2M in funding to Hydro Tasmania to assist with completion of the infrastructure project.
High-quality tungsten output provides environmental benefit
G6M has stated that it is committed to redeveloping Dolphin in a way that has the least impact on the environment. As part of this, the company is aiming to produce high-quality concentrate at the project which will be low in deleterious elements.
“Common contaminants found in Tungsten ore bodies are Uranium and Thorium. Allowable levels of radiation for import of Tungsten concentrates into Europe are far below the naturally occurring levels in many commercially available concentrates and require significant additional processing to eliminate them. Ore from the Dolphin Tungsten Mine is free of these contaminants producing a more attractive concentrate product for downstream processors.”
Local workforce set to benefit
Recognising that the project will play a large part in King Island’s economic development, G6M reports that further initiatives will include prioritising local residential employment where practical, along with providing training to enable access to skilled employment at the mine site.
The project is expected to generate 90 full-time equivalent jobs during construction, along with an additional 65 ongoing full-time equivalent jobs on King Island when fully operational.
ESG leadership provides win-win
With Dolphin looking more and more like a long-term play, G6M’s solid approach to ESG strategy and reporting is paying dividends. In adopting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, a globally-recognised ESG reporting standard, the company is committed to conducting business operations in a manner which preserves the precious wildlife, conserves the environment, supports industry and positively impacts the community living on the pristine environment of King Island.
The historic Dolphin Tungsten Mine has been closed since 1992 and the company is forging ahead with, and is on schedule to start production in the first quarter of 2023 in a manner which reduces environmental impact along with creating significant social, environmental, and economic value.
Images: Group 6 Metals Ltd