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 approximately 1,200 people. It is heavily developed for beef and dairy farming 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 and resource which currently stands at:
- Mineral Reserves of 3.14Mt at a grade of 0.73% WO3 (at 0.2% cut-off)
- Mineral Resources, including the Mineral Reserves, of 9.6Mt at a grade of 0.90% WO3 (at 0.2% cut-off)
Grade and Tonnage of Comparable Tungsten Deposits
- 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 supplemented with a simple flotation circuit
- Option to double mine life through mining existing underground resource
- All relevant approvals for open cut mining have now been obtained
- Mining Lease valid to 2029
- Environmental Approval granted
- Approval to relocate plant to south side of pit
The Dolphin Project plans to construct a processing plant on site with annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes. Laboratory test work is still in progress but results are pointing to a simple and cost effective gravity based flowsheet, together with a small flotation circuit, being employed for project start up.
Once in production the processing plant may be expanded to increase plant recovery.
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.
It will be necessary to provide additional power, as the island’s existing supply is insufficient to meet the Project’s needs.
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 2016 an Assessment Report (“AR”)detailing the preferred open cut 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 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.