King Island Project

Dolphin History

The King Island scheelite mine has a long and distinguished history.

The deposit was first discovered in 1911 when a prospector named Tom Farrell searched the area for tin.  He soon realised that the outcropping mineralisation found near the beach was in fact scheelite, and that a significant deposit existed under shallow sand cover.

In 1917 the King Island Scheelite Development Company N.L. was incorporated, and a plant capable of treating 200 tonnes of ore per week was constructed.  Operations were however closed down in mid 1920, following a collapse in tungsten prices.

In 1937 King Island Scheelite N.L. was formed, and a larger plant capable of treating 500 tonnes of ore per week was erected in 1938.  This operation required ore to be mined essentially by hand, but with the onset of World War 2 things changed due to tungsten's significance to the war effort.  With Commonwealth Government assistance power shovels and 6 tonne trucks were installed, together with a new mill that increased annual ore processing capacity to 129,038 tonnes in 1946.

In 1947 the company voluntarily wound up, and was reconstructed as King Island Scheelite (1947) Ltd.  The Korean War of the early 1950s helped to maintain the price of tungsten at healthy levels, and the creation of strategic stockpiles in the US and other countries also meant that market conditions were good for producers.  After the war and following the completion of building the stockpiles, the price of tungsten declined, ultimately forcing the King Island mine onto a care and maintenance basis in August 1958.  The mine reopened on a limited basis in early 1960, with again the Vietnam War helping to support prices during the 1960s.

In 1969 King Island Scheelite (1947) Ltd was absorbed into the Peko-Wallsend group of companies, and milling capacity was subsequently increased to 300,000 tonnes per annum.  Over time, capacity eventually rose to 420,000 tonnes.

Mining was undertaken solely by open cut methods until October 1972, when underground mining commenced at the Bold Head mine, located approximately 3 km north of the Dolphin open cut.  In June 1973 underground mining commenced at Dolphin, and in October 1974 production ceased from the Dolphin open cut.

By this time the company owned township of Grassy had become a thriving town, with a population of approximately 700 people.  Facilities available included a picture theatre, tennis, basketball and badminton courts, a nine hole golf course, squash courts and an indoor heated swimming pool.  The town was entirely dependent on the mine.

Following a prolonged period of depressed prices in the 1980s, the King Island mine followed many western tungsten producers, and operations closed in 1990.  The site was fully rehabilitated by North Mining (now part of Rio Tinto) who had acquired Peko-Wallsend, all processing facilities and much of the infrastructure was removed, the company owned townsite was sold, and open cut was allowed to flood.

As the mine was always expected to eventually re-open, North Mining lodged mine drawings, geological plans, drill core and other information with Mineral Resources Tasmania to facilitate this.

In May 2005, GTN Resources NL acquired the project, and subsequently changed its name to King Island Scheelite Limited (KIS). KIS carried out a feasibility study based on redeveloping the project by extending the open pit with a sea wall to prevent any ingress. This mine would feed a gravity based mill processing 600,000 tonnes of ore per annum to produce approximately 3,000 tonnes of WO3 concentrate a year.

In December 2007 KIS entered a joint venture with Hunan Nonferrous Metals Co Ltd (HNC), a major Chinese tungsten producer and processing organisation to progress the Dolphin mine redevelopment. This transaction saw HNC subscribe for shares in KIS, enter an equal share, unincorporated joint venture to develop and operate the mine, as well as provide funding for the project.

This joint venture was terminated on 17th December 2010, King Island Scheelite Limited now owns 100% of this project.  The loan from HNC has been forgiven in exchange for a 2% royalty on future gross revenue (capped at $3.9million).

King Island Scheelite Mine, Grassy King Island, Tasmania, 1937-1966 (PDF-5 MB)

King Island Project Structure

Latest News

Quarterly Activities and Cash Flow Reports June 2017

Half Year Accounts Dec 16

Quarterly Activities & Cash Flow Report September 2016

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Quarterly Activities and Cash Flow Reports Dec 15

Quarterly Activities and Cash Flow Report

Updated Reserve Statement

Results of AGM

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Corporate Update

Quarterly Activities & Cash Flow Report June 2015

ASX Announcement July 2015 (kB 198)

Annual Financial Report June 2015

TMEC Presentation

ASX Announcement June 2015 (kB 198)

Appointment of Financial Advisor

ASX Announcement June 2015 (kB 198)

Quarterly Activities and Cash Flow Reports March 2015

ASX Announcement April 2015 (kB 198)

Updated Resource Statement April 2015

ASX Announcement April 2015 (kB 198)

Appointment of Engineering Contractor

ASX Announcement March 20 (kB 198)

Company Update Dolphin Project

ASX Announcement Feb 26 (kB 198)

Quarterly Activities and Cash Flow Reports 31 December 2014

ASX Announcement Jan 29 (kB 198)

Updated Reserve and Resource Statement 05 December 2014

ASX Announcement Oct 2014 (kB 198)

Quarterly Activities and Cash Flow Reports 30 September 2014

ASX Announcement Oct 2014 (kB 198)

KIS Investor Presentation September 2014

ASX Announcement September 2014 (kB 2,145)

Annual Financial Report June 2014

ASX Announcement Aug 2014 (447kB)

Updated Resources Statement

ASX Announcement July 2014 (kB 1,194)

Dolphin Mining Lease Granted

ASX Announcement June 2014 (97kB)

Research Report Published

ASX Announcement April 2014 (97kB)

Market News

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Breakaway Research Report 2014

Breakaway Research Report April 2014

20110304_SMH Article re KI on the ascent

Tungsten Article March 2011 (28kB)

201101_British Geological Survey_Tungsten

Tungsten Article January 2011 (1,486kB)


Tungsten Article Dec 2010 (3,699kB)