ASX-listed mining company Group 6 Metals has started commercial production of tungsten concentrate at its Dolphin Tungsten Mine on King Island, Tasmania, Australia.

The process plant is said to have achieved 70% runtime, processing more than 10,000 tonnes (t) of lower to medium-grade ore at an average grade of 0.3% tungsten trioxide (WO₃).

The company noted that nearly 10t of saleable tungsten concentrate was produced last month.

Preliminary site tests showed that the produced concentrate has achieved an average grade of 55% of WO₃ and a maximum grade of 68% WO₃.

The company’s team is focused on optimising performance to maximise recovery. By achieving production at a grade that meets offtake requirements, the company has achieved full-scale proof of flow sheet.

Group 6 Metals CEO and managing director, Keith McKnight said: “We are thrilled to achieve commercial production within weeks of the production of first concentrate at the Dolphin Tungsten Mine.

“Our achievement of successfully processing more than 10,000t of ore in June and producing concentrate ready for sale is another significant milestone for the company and a credit to the hard work and dedication of our site team and contractors.

“The team will now focus on the commencement of drill and blast operations later in the month, which we expect to further improve the performance of the process plant by increasing the head grade.”

In May 2023, the company announced plans to raise A$30m ($19.98m) through a share placement and share purchase plan to begin operations at the mine.

It secured A$27m in commitments, which include A$24m in cash consideration and the conversion of A$3m of unsecured debt into equity of 193.1 million shares.