Group 6 Metals has produced the first tungsten concentrate at its fully-owned Dolphin tungsten mine in Tasmania, Australia.

Located near the town of Grassy, on the southeast coast of King Island, the Dolphin tungsten mine was previously operated between 1917 and 1992 and then shut down due to low tungsten prices.

Group 6 Metals is now progressing with the redevelopment strategy for the Dolphin mine.

With the production of the first concentrate, the Australian resources exploration and development company aims to focus on wrapping up the remaining commissioning activities and performance testing to boost throughput.

Besides, Group 6 Metals expects to tune performance to maximise concentrate grade and recovery.

The Australian company said that the construction of the process plant at the Dolphin tungsten mine is nearing completion, with performance testing underway to achieve 400,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) processing capacity.

Group 6 Metals managing director and CEO Keith McKnight said: “Production of first concentrate at the Dolphin Tungsten Mine is another significant milestone for Group 6 Metals and is a credit to the hard work and dedication of our site team and contractors.

“The process plant has been running 24hrs a day for the past week, processing lower grade commissioning ore. The team will now turn their focus to performance testing to increase throughput, grade and recovery.”

The Dolphin redevelopment plan is contemplating an eight-year open cut mine followed by a six-year underground operation to produce 63% of tungsten trioxide concentrate for supply into the Ammonium Paratungstate tungsten market.

According to the revised feasibility study of 2020, the redevelopment of the Dolphin mine requires a capital cost of A$129.2m ($84.17m) and a total operating cost of $423.3m ($275.78m) over its life of mine.