EQ Resources Limited says it has executed an Early Engagement Contract with Golding Contractors Pty Ltd for the restart of the open-pit mining operations at the Mt Carbine Tungsten Mine, in Queensland, Australia.
EQR said it selected Golding, a subsidiary of NRW Holdings, as its preferred partner after working through a high-quality engagement and approval process.
“Early engagement was a preferred course for EQR as recent capital investment into the Mt Carbine processing plant is commissioning well and the company is receiving positive feedback from offtake partners for supply of our critical mineral product,” EQR’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin MacNeill, said.
“EQR wants to deliver the highest quality outcome for the life of the Mt Carbine Mine for all stakeholders. Golding has strong credentials including specialist mine site rehabilitation works and environmental earthworks.
“Mt Carbine is ramping up treatment of its substantial low-grade surface resource as part of its joint venture with Cronimet with the next step in the development plan being the restart of its 100%-owned operations starting with the Andy White open pit, subject to the planned permit amendment. It’s a natural progression.”
Over the coming months, key areas of engagement and focus to finalise the mining contract and ensure smooth transition to mining operations will include:
- Pit design: EQR is set to revise pit design in line with the recent drilling with Golding to maximise the strategic resource benefit and value for all stakeholders;
- Equipment selection: In conjunction with the pit design under the contract, EQR and Golding will target strategic equipment selection to further optimise mining costs;
- Contractor engagement: Golding will help manage the open-pit development through their in-house resources and network of preferred contractors to ensure compliance with Queensland mining legislation;
- Stakeholder engagement: EQR and Golding will jointly engage local and strategic stakeholders regarding camp establishment, workshop establishment, personnel engagement, strategic regional suppliers and manufacturers; and
- Timing: the open pit operations are forecast to begin during the first quarter of 2023.
EQ Resources, as a result of the acquisition of Mt Carbine Quarries in June 2019, now has 100% ownership of the two mining leases and surrounding exploration projects at the project. In a joint venture with Cronimet, the tungsten processing plant has been refurbished, commissioned and expanded to 300,000 t/y capacity.
The company is in the process of completing the required environmental amendments to allow the operation to process 300,000 t/y and eventually 1 Mt/y. Once the bulk test work is completed, a feasibility study will be completed for the design of the 1 Mt/y operation.