A wholly owned subsidiary of King Island Scheelite (KIS), Australian Tungsten, has received approval from the Tasmania Government to re-open the closed Dolphin Mine on King Island.

Following the approval, Australian Tungsten will start dewatering operations to empty the open pit, which was closed in 1992.

According to the company, the dewatering process will take approximately four months. It is currently working with contractors to commence operations in early July.

The company has outlined a four-year plan that is initially focused on open cut mining and will gradually move into underground mining.

King Island Scheelite board of directors and independent chairman Johann Jacobs said: "This is an exciting development for KIS and wishes to thank The Honourable Paul Harriss, Minister responsible, and the staff at Mineral Resources Tasmania, for the expeditious manner in which they processed the application."

According to Tasmanian resources minister Paul Harriss, the development of a mine and processing facility on King Island would provide a major boost to the local economy and could create 90 new mining jobs.

Tungsten is a metal that is used in wide range of applications including making drill bits, sporting goods, armaments, alloys and cutting tips.

Currently, China tops the global tungsten market for supply and demand, accounting for 86% of the world’s tungsten products and using 59% of tungsten.