Speciality Metals International says it is receiving excellent early results from the use of XRT ore sorting technology on stockpiles at Mount Carbine in Far North Queensland.
The test work program is supported by a $220,000 grant under the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund.
The company says the results support its plan to exploit historical waste rock stockpiles at Mount Carbine, 80km north-west of Cairns.
It aims to emerge as Australia’s new low-cost tungsten producer.
“This is another step towards commercialising the value in the stockpiles around Mount Carbine which has been the goal of the team for some time now,” chief executive officer Kevin MacNeill said.
“The information generated from this early test work is key to confirming the economic viability of using the latest XRT sorting technology now being applied to historic test work areas and the development of an optimised mining and earth moving plan.
“When handling and processing stockpiles such as these with such significant tonnages, it’s critical we maximise value at every cost centre.”
The pilot plant is achieving throughput rates of up to 50tph, significantly higher than previous sorting trials at the site.
It has achieved an upgrade ratio of 28:1 on 10mm to 25mm tungsten-bearing particles and achieved a sorter concentrate grade of 1.89 per cent tungsten trioxide.
Additional staff were appointed in early September to operate the XRT sorting pilot plant and conduct bulk test work.
This would allow the sorting test work to take place without any disruption to ongoing quarry and tailings reprocessing operations also based at Mount Carbine, Speciality Metals said.