Mt Carbine receives $20m funding to unlock tungsten potential

(Image source: EQ Resources) Mt Carbine tungsten mine open pit.
(Image source: EQ Resources) Mt Carbine tungsten mine open pit.

Considerable exploration potential will be unlocked at Australia’s largest tungsten mine to aid in the supply of unlocking the critical mineral.

Supported by the Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund (QCMBTF), underground mining operations will return to EQ Resources’ (ASX: EQR) Mt Carbine site in Far North Queensland.

Tungsten possesses the highest melting point and tensile strength of all pure metals and it can be used across a range of renewable energy applications such as solar cells, wind turbines and battery storage.

The Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) managed fund will provide a $20m senior secured debt facility for new plant equipment, drill testing and trial mining to further explore tungsten resources.

QIC state chief investment officer Allison Hill says the additional tungsten mineralisation will strengthen Queensland’s position as a critical mineral supplier in the global supply chain.

“There are relatively few mines globally in a position to fill anticipated supply-demand gaps for tungsten as existing outputs are challenged and demand for clean energy technologies grows,” she said.

“Mt Carbine is one of them, where workers are on track to produce around 3000t of tungsten concentrate every year.

“QIC’s QCMBTF investment will allow EQR to kickstart plans to reopen historic underground mining operations and explore a dormant tungsten deposit with considerable potential for additional mineralisation.”

The funding provides a pathway to extend Mt Carbine’s life of mine by up to six years and create around 100 local jobs.

The funding will be split into two phases with phase one, consisting of $12m, to be used to double the processing capacity and begin underground drill mining. Phase two, consisting of $8m, will be used to continue underground drill testing and begin underground trial mining.

EQ Resources chief executive Kevin MacNeill says the company is pleased to have received this funding.

“This financing not only supports our recently announced expansion program to double capacity at Mt Carbine, but we also consider this a strong endorsement of our corporate strategy to further establish ourselves as a leading and responsible producer of globally relevant critical minerals,” he said.

“We look forward to responsibly contributing to the development of clean energy technologies alongside our offtake partners using high-quality tungsten powders in battery technologies and energy storage.”