Dolphin Project

The Dolphin Project is located near the town of Grassy on the south east coast of King Island, the most western large island in the Bass Strait. Grassy has historically been a mining town, developed to service the Dolphin Mine which produced Scheelite, a form of Tungsten, up until 1992.

King Island has a population of 1585 people according to 2016 ABS Census. It is heavily developed for beef and dairy farming, seafood fishing, tourism and has a large kelp harvesting industry. The main commercial centre is Currie, located on the west coast of the island and approximately 25km by road from the mining and port town of Grassy.


The Dolphin Project contains a 2012 JORC compliant reserve[1] and resource which currently stands at:

  • Dolphin Indicated Mineral Reserves of 4.43Mt at a grade of 0.92% WO3 (at 0.2% cut-off for open pit reserve, 0.7% for underground reserve)
  • Dolphin Probable Mineral Resources, including the Mineral Reserves, of 9.6Mt at a grade of 0.90% WO3 (at 0.2% cut-off)
  • The Bold Head Satellite deposit contains an Indicated and Inferred Resource of 1.76Mt @ 0.91% WO3 (0.4% WO3 cut off)

[1] Refer to competent person statements in the appendices of this report.


Grade and Tonnage of Comparable Tungsten Deposits

Development Plan

  • A detailed mine plan and schedule by Xenith consulting details an 8 year open cut mine, with average annual production of 400,000 tonnes of ore per annum, yielding 200,000 mtu of WO3 (1mtu = 10kg)
  • Ore to be crushed and processed, primarily through a gravity circuit, with dressing of the gravity concentrates using flotation and magnetic separation.
  • Plan to increase mine life on completion of the open pit by continued mining of the remaining resource external to the 8 year open pit
  • All relevant approvals for open cut mining have now been obtained
  • Mining Lease valid to 2029
  • Environmental Approval EPN7442/2 granted in 2017

Processing Plant

The Dolphin Project plans to construct a processing plant on site with annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes of feed ore. Laboratory test work is substantially complete and pilot scale testing is underway. Results to date are pointing to a simple and cost effective gravity based flowsheet, together with a concentrate dressing  circuit, being employed for project start up.

Once in production the processing plant may be expanded to increase plant scheelite recovery by the addition of another process step, leaching of fine process plant tails.

KIS recently received approval for its application to re‐locate the site of the Processing Plant from the northern side of the pit to the southern side. Approval for this change was granted by King Island Council by Planning Permit DA 2018/41, after consulting with the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Agency.

The new Processing Plant site has significant operational advantages over the previous site, in terms of reduced environmental impact (noise and visual), vehicle accessibility, proximity to the Grassy Port, reduced civil engineering costs and a much safer environment for light vehicles.


King Island is positioned mid-way between Victoria and Tasmania and is well serviced by sea and air transport. The main deep-water port on the island is located approximately 1 km from the mine site and the airport is less than 30 minutes away by sealed road.

Power supply is via existing island diesel & renewable generating systems as well as some mine site diesel generation/King Island power generator Hydro Tasmania has plans to install additional renewable energy wind turbines to meet Dolphin power demand more sustainably.

The township of Grassy is largely privately owned. The Dolphin Project does not intend building extensive staff housing but has the potential to access a variety of appropriate accommodation arrangements for mine personnel.

KIS recently acquired the property and improvements known as “Portside Links” which provides the Company with direct access from the mine to the port and all potential land requirements for the redevelopment of the mine.


King Island Scheelite is committed to redeveloping the Dolphin Project in a way that has the least impact on the environment.

During the December 2016 quarter an Assessment Report (“AR”), detailing the preferred opencut mining operations was completed and submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (“EPA”) for its review. The AR contained all necessary documents to support the proposed amended mining operations (the proposal) at the Dolphin Mine at Grassy.

The Tasmanian EPA approved the amended mining operations and issued an Environmental Protection Notice 7442/2 (the EPN), on 2 October 2017. The EPN contains all environmental conditions which must be met prior, during and following mining operations.

All relevant approvals for the operation of an open cut mine have now been obtained. Prior to commencement of operations detailed operating plans must be submitted to various authorities.

To see our Environmental Policy, please click on the link below:

Environmental Policy