King Island Scheelite is moving ahead with plans to reopen a mine at Grassy on King Island.

Tasmanian Minister for Resources, Paul Harriss, issued a lease for the mine to Australian Tungsten Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of King Island Scheelite.

This will enable Australian Tungsten to begin pumping water from the Dolphin Open Cut Mine, a key step if it is to resume mining operations.

A final decision on reopening the mine may only be made later this year.

Harriss said that the development of a mine and processing facility on King Island would provide a major boost to the local economy and create many new jobs.

The plan for a four-year open cut operation based on the Dolphin deposit is the first stage of a much more extensive mining plan, with future stages involving a return to underground mining.

The price of tungsten, a strategically valuable commodity, has been increasing for the past five years and the company’s projections suggest that, provided test drilling results are positive, the mine can return to profitable operation.

The King Island Scheelite mine closed in 1990, after a prolonged depression in the world tungsten market.

The Minister states that the entire operation falls within the previous mine footprint and will, therefore, not significantly increase the environmental disturbance at the site.

The dewatering process is expected to take approximately four months and KIS is currently finalising contract negotiations in order that work can commence in early July.

King Island Scheelite Chairman Johann Jacobs said: “This is an exciting development for KIS and we wish to thank The Honourable Paul Harriss, Minister responsible, and the staff at Mineral Resources Tasmania, for the expeditious manner in which they processed the application.”

The August edition of Pump Industry contains a feature on mine dewatering. Click here to read the August edition online.

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