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Permit granted for FNQ mine site

ONE of Australia’s leading tungsten producers has been granted a permit to begin extensive on-ground exploration over a 480 square kilometre area in Far North Queensland.

The Exploration Permit for Minerals (EPM) approval allows EQ Resources to begin drilling, geological mapping, and soil and rock sampling aimed at unlocking tungsten resources at the site, which includes the former Wolfram Camp and Bamford Hill mines.

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Scott Stewart said the re-commercialisation of the historic site will create jobs in the region.

“The approval of this exploration permit is a crucial step in our mission to transform Queensland’s former mines into productive, job creating assets,” he said.

“EQ Resources has a proven track record in revitalising former mines.

“Revitalising Wolfram Camp will not only provide significant economic benefits but also ensures a steady supply of tungsten, critical for renewable energy technologies.

“This will not only create more good jobs for the region but helps us meet the challenge of leading the world towards a decarbonised future.”

The wolfram camp mine site in far north queensland
The Wolfram Camp mine site in far North Queensland

Wolfram Camp is named after wolframite – an important primary ore of tungsten that miners have been extracting from the site since the 19th century.

With the highest melting point and tensile strength of all pure metals, tungsten is essential in various battery technologies and energy storage systems.

Its unique properties make it irreplaceable in applications like solar cells, wind turbine blades, microelectronics, tools, construction, defence, and medical technologies.

EQ Resources CEO Kevin MacNeill said that after successfully navigating the permitting process, he was excited to get boots on the ground.

“At EQ Resources, we understand the importance of responsible and sustainable mining practices,” he said.

“As we did with the Mt Carbine Mine, we are committed to engaging closely with all local communities around Wolfram Camp to create shared prosperity and opportunities.

“This includes generating new employment avenues, contributing to the local economy, and promoting responsible environmental stewardship in alignment with EQR’s core values. 

“Our team of experienced professionals will apply modern exploration techniques and state-of-the-art technologies to maximise Wolfram Camp and the surrounding site’s potential while minimising its environmental footprint.”

Global demand for critical minerals like tungsten will continue to increase as more countries work towards a net zero future.

The Wolfram Camp mine was abandoned in late 2018 and has since been a part of the Queensland Government’s Abandoned Mine Lands Program.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Spread of monkeypox is a warning and Indigenous Hospitality graduates boost workforce.

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