Group 6 Metals Advance Dolphin Tungsten Mine

22 September 2023 11:45

Group 6 Metals Limited (ASX:G6M) have continued to make headway at its wholly owned Dolphin Tungsten Mine located on King Island in Tasmania, with reports of increased plant efficiency and performance optimisation activities progressing well.

Production Ramp Up

The Company maintains on track, announcing in August its production ramp up at the Project, including the delivery of its second shipment of high-grade tungsten concentrate.

Group 6 Metals only completed the successful shipment of its first tungsten concentrate delivery in July, processing 12,500 tonnes of 0.28% WO3 low-grade ore.


Figure 1: West Pit Ore Mining

Despite several unavoidable disruptions, the Company continues to progress at the Project, making improvements to increase the plant efficiency and overall quality of the tungsten concentrate delivered.

Throughout August, Group 6 Metals reports that the progress team worked on optimisation of the process plants throughput and performance, with rectifications made to the crusher and dressing circuits to improve the throughput of ROM ore increasing the quality of concentrate.

The plant processed 15,031 dry metric tonnes of ore in the month of August, seeing a 20 per cent increase on the previous months capacity.

Group 6 Metals Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Keith McKnight said that the Company continues to work through these disruptions.

“While plant utilisation was lower for August due to 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,” he said.


Figure 2: Third shipment of concentrate ready for dispatch

Blast Momentum

Group 6 Metals also reports increased blast size and frequency in the Dolphin Pit following the commencement of drilling and blast activities in August, with key monitoring parameters remaining well below regulatory requirements and aligning with community expectations.

The Company reports during August 16,374 tonnes of Ore and 119,530 BCM of surveyed waste material was mined, as the mining progresses through the transitional zones in various areas of the Dolphin Pit.

Group 6 hopes to maintain this blast momentum with continued ramp up throughout September to increase the volume of blasted material available, increasing mine productivity.

It outlines its initial targets are the West Pit and North Pit for low strip ore mining, while blasted overburden removal is being carried out on the eastern side of pit, enabling access to B-lens, followed by the high-grade C-lens.


Figure : West Pit Field Control

Mr McKnight commented that the Company aim to maintain this momentum.

“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,” he said.

The Dolphin Tungsten Mine

Although production within the Mine kicked off in June, the Dolphin Tungsten Mine, located in Tasmania, held its official opening ceremony in August after laying dormant for 33 years.


Figure 3: The Dolphin Tungsten Mine

The Company hosted the Tasmanian Resources Minister, the Hon Felix Ellis, Senator for Tasmania Anne Urquhart and King Island Mayor Marcus Blackie at the official opening ceremony.

Whilst trading volumes for tungsten have been lower over the first half of the year, the Company anticipates the demand for the critical mineral, utilised in a variety of steelmaking, mining, and electronic applications, will only increase, driven by the construction, mining and defence sectors.

To aid in meeting this demand through production acceleration, the Company has executed unsecured loan facilities with three of its major shareholders, raising $7 million 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.

Mr McKnight said that the progress made during the month in terms of production and increased blast frequency’s were significant.

“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,” he said.

“It is encouraging to see the APT price remain strong despite lower trading volumes for the first 6 months of the year. As tungsten stocks are run down and demand picks up in USA and Europe, it should provide a catalyst for positive price movement again.”

Group 6 Metals Chairman Johann Jacobs added that the Company is grateful to have such strong support from 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,” he said.

“We were thrilled to host many of the Company’s key stakeholders and supporters at the official opening of the Dolphin Tungsten Mine. It was a momentous occasion, 14 years in the making. We were pleased to share the day with so many of whom have been instrumental in reopening the historic Dolphin Tungsten Mine.”

G6M’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently trading at $0.105 (11.30am UTC+ 8 hours).

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