A mine waste transformation project in Far North Queensland has won a grant of $220,000 under the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund.
The work is happening at Speciality Metals International’s Mount Carbine tungsten operation.
Joint venture partners Speciality Metals and Cronimet have been trialling sensor-based ore sorting to extract +10mm to 40mm high-grade tungsten particles from low-grade waste rock at the site. A retreatment operation extracting tungsten from old tailings is also underway.
The funded project is titled: Optimised X-ray Ore Sorting Technologies and Material Handling Concepts for Historic Tungsten Mine Waste Transformation.
“We are pleased to be working with high quality partners in the execution of this research project which will take us closer to meeting a targeted 1Mtpa waste sorting operation in our goal of maximising resource value at Mount Carbine,” Speciality Metals chief executive officer Kevin MacNeill said.
The project consortium consists of Speciality Metals, CRONIMET Australia, The University of Queensland, TOMRA Sorting and DAS Mining Solutions.
The nine-month work program will be documented under the formal METS Ignited reporting requirements and will also form part of the company’s internal study to determine the viability of a large-scale sensor-based sorting operation.
The project aims to improve sector confidence in adopting new ore sorting technologies for processing heterogeneous, low grade materials and drive economic growth and mine rehabilitation in Australia.
Speciality chief commercial officer Kim Cavallaro said the project would allow the pooling of knowledge to obtain shared value, and at the same time address pressing societal needs around economic rehabilitation, sustainable mining, and efficient resource management.