Advanced explorer King Island Scheelite (ASX: KIS) has taken delivery of a full-scale, commercial-grade multi-gravity separator for its historic Dolphin tungsten mine in Tasmania.
The machine will be used to separate heavy scheelite particles and reject lighter calcite particles from ore once the mine re-commences next year.
The company entered into a rental and purchase agreement with the machine’s supplier during the last quarter and received the unit in April.
It has since been installed at ALS Geochemistry’s laboratories in Burnie, 190km from the mine site, where it will undergo first stage “sighter tests” focused on metallurgical performance using a 10-tonne representative ore sample from the Dolphin deposit.
Further optimisation tests over the coming weeks will aim to increase recovery and grade of product at optimal throughput rates.
The tests will also provide information on the effect of machine operating parameters on the particle recovery of scheelite to concentrate.
Test results will allow King Island to determine the number of multi-gravity separators which will need to be installed at the final concentrate plant.
In February, King Island announced it had secured financial support to re-develop the Dolphin mine through a loan of $10 million from the Tasmanian Government.
The loan followed the federal government’s move to open a Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO) with the objective of growing the nation’s critical minerals sector and the potential to assist the funding of high-priority projects.
The CMFO named tungsten as a critical mineral and placed it amongst the top 10 of a total 24 minerals identified.
Further financial support is expected to become available under the Australian Federal Government’s $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative announced in October.
The company is also advancing discussions on a project debt facility and is in talks with equity brokers to arrange the balance of the required funding.
Australia hosts the second largest economic tungsten resources worldwide and King Island said Dolphin’s re-start would see it well-positioned to capitalise on global demand for the commodity.