King Island Scheelite (ASX: KIS) has obtained the first mine management plan approval from the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Authority for its wholly owned Dolphin tungsten project on the state’s King Island.
The EPA has granted approval of King Island’s mine closure, decommissioning and rehabilitation management plan (MCDRMP) for the development of Dolphin.
According to the company, the MCDRMP requires annual updating and approval from the EPA.
It sets the required standards for the mine’s operation and ultimate closure.
King Island executive chairman Johann Jacobs said securing this first MCDRMP approval was an important milestone for the company as it advances redevelopment plans for Dolphin.
He said the approval recognises the high environmental standards both King Island and its contractors will adhere to during construction and operation of the mine.
“Compliance with the plan and the previously approved water management plan is a clear demonstration of King Island management team’s commitment to the environment,” Mr Jacobs added.
King Island is currently preparing other management plans for submission prior to development of Dolphin.
Gekko Systems appointed
While progressing environmental approvals, King Island is readying for construction and has named Gekko Systems the preferred process engineering company to carry out final designs of the Dolphin processing plant.
Gekko is also responsible for constructing the plant on a turnkey basis.
As part of the contract, Gekko has been working with King Island to finalise battery limits and negotiate the binding terms of the deal.
King Island noted Gekko has been involved with Dolphin for three years and has been instrumental in designing the processing facilities based on results from the ALS laboratory in Burnie.
Beefed up management team
In readiness for redeveloping Dolphin, King Island has added more experience to its management team with the appointment of Alvin Johns as processing manager and metallurgical technical expert and Paul Richardson as project construction manager.
Mr Johns has been involved with Dolphin for the last decade as a consultant, where he was responsible for creating a simple and cost-effective processing flow sheet.
Meanwhile, Mr Richardson’s appointment is for two years, and he brings “significant” experience managing construction and operations of similar scale projects in the minerals sector.
Dolphin tungsten project
Dolphin hosts 2.9 million tonnes of probable reserves at 0.73% tungsten oxide, including an underground component of 1.5Mt at 1.24% tungsten oxide.
A revised feasibility study from late last year indicates a six-year underground operation on top of an eight year open pit mine.
The open pit mine is approved to process 400,000t of ore a year to generate 275,000 metric tonne units of tungsten oxide.
Dolphin has secured backing in the form of a $10 million loan package from the Tasmanian Government.
The government endorsement comes at a time tungsten demand is expected to rise.
Tungsten has been designated a critical mineral across many regions including the UK, US, EU, Japan, Russia and Australia.
It is a key input to industries that are vital to national security.