Community & Business

15 May, 2024

Major boost for mine’s future

A FINANCIAL path has been created for the Mt Carbine tungsten mine to double its capacity, start underground mining operations, and further establish itself as a leading producer of globally relevant critical minerals.

The Mt Carbine tungsten mine is set to expand its operations and capacity after securing a $20 million funding facility.
The Mt Carbine tungsten mine is set to expand its operations and capacity after securing a $20 million funding facility.

EQ Resources, which acquired the mine in 2019, has secured a three-year funding facility for up to $20 million which will allow the operation to spread its wings and take the mine to the next level.

The loan, by the Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund (QCMBTF), will accelerate the company’s capacity expansion plan which will see its processing capacity double and allow underground drill testing to begin.

The lightly-explored underground resource is accessible from the existing open pit, using a 1980s decline of about half a kilometre in length.

If underground mining proves to be feasible at Mt Carbine, it could extend the life of the mine by up to six years and create up to 100 local jobs. 


The mine is Australia’s largest producer of tungsten and expanding its operations will provide the country with supply of the critical mineral ahead of forecast global shortages, with the market experiencing increasing prices of more than 10% quarter-on-quarter.

Currently, China and Russia control 87% of global output of tungsten.

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the State’s investment through the QCMBTF would provide a pathway for EQ Resources to power ahead with underground exploration.

“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,” he said.

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Scott Stewart described the resurgence of tungsten production as “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,” he said.

QIC’s State Chief Investment Officer Allison Hill said securing additional tungsten mineralisation would strengthen Queensland’s position as a significant contributor to global critical minerals supply chains. 

“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 – while the existing open-cut mine is forecast to reach its end of life by 2029, supply-demand deficits are expected to run well beyond into the 2030s.

“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.”

EQ Resources chief executive officer Kevin MacNeill is excited about the future of the operation.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“The provision of financing will support our recently announced expansion program to double capacity at Mt Carbine, but we also consider this a strong endorsement of the company’s corporate strategy to further establish ourselves as a leading and responsible producer of globally relevant critical minerals.

“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.”


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