Critical minerals investment extends tungsten mine life and jobs

Published Wednesday, 08 May, 2024 at 04:47 PM


Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals
The Honourable Scott Stewart

$20 million Miles Government investment kickstarts EQ Resources’ plan to extend tungsten mine north-west of Cairns

·           New plant equipment and drill testing to increase capacity and significantly extend mine life, creating up to 100 jobs

·           Tungsten is key component in solar cells, wind turbines and batteries, with global shortages forecast over next 15 years

The Miles Government will support up to 100 new jobs and significantly extend the life of Australia’s largest tungsten mine in Far North Queensland.

A $20 million investment from the Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund (QCMBTF) will allow EQ Resources (EQR) to commence drill testing and trial mining through a reopening of the historic underground mining operations at Mt Carbine Tungsten Mine.

The underground deposit of the open pit is still relatively unexplored, with considerable exploration potential for additional mineralisation to meet forecast global shortages in the critical mineral.

Tungsten possesses the highest melting point and tensile strength of all pure metals, making it useful for a range of renewable energy applications, including solar cells, wind turbines, and batteries.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick:

“Our investment through the Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund provides a pathway for EQ Resources to extend the existing mine by further exploring tungsten resources accessible through underground mining.

“New plant equipment, drill testing and trial mining is forecast to increase capacity and extend the mine’s life by at least five years, ensuring global demand for tungsten continues to deliver local opportunities for Far North Queenslanders.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Scott Stewart

“The resurgence of tungsten production is another remarkable success story in Queensland’s critical minerals boom. 

“Since returning to operation in 2019, Mt Carbine Tungsten Mine has become a major employer in the Far North, where 175 workers and contractors are on track to produce about 3,000 tonnes of tungsten concentrate every year.

“The existing open-cut mine is forecast to reach its end of life by 2029, but the Miles Labor Government is committed to supporting these workers and the communities they call home.

Quotes attributable to EQ Resources CEO Kevin MacNeill:

“EQ Resources is proud of the work our team have put in at Mt Carbine since 2019 to make Queensland home to Australia’s largest tungsten mine.

“This investment provides a pathway to extend our mining operations beyond 2029, which is a tremendous outcome for the local community, economy, and our workforce.  

“Recognised for our efforts in sustainable mining with the 2022 AMEC Award, we are at a pivotal time when the world needs more tungsten to support decarbonisation.

“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 applications.”

Further information

Managed through Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), the $100 million Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund has two investment streams:

  1. QIC oversees venture and growth capital investments
  2. projects seeking grant assistance are referred to Queensland Treasury

The Fund’s first investment into Alpha HPA is already supporting the production of sapphire glass from high-purity alumina in Gladstone, capturing significant value in the advanced materials supply chain.  

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Media contact: Campbell Gellie 0433 987 744