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EQ Resources is making a bid for Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) funding to take its Mount Carbine tungsten operations to a new level.

It argues the planned Mount Carbine upgrade and expansion aligns with the Commonwealth Government’s aim to support security of critical minerals and strengthen regional development.

“The mine, first discovered in 1895, is being brought back to life to supply tungsten to global manufacturing industries,” an EQ Resources statement to the market said.

“China is currently the world’s dominant tungsten producer and the Mount Carbine project expansion offers a diversified source of supply for global customers.”

Mount Carbine owner seeks NAIF support

Mount Carbine operations employ about 40 people as well as providing work for contractors from the local region, including of Mount Molloy, Julatten, Mareeba and extending to Kuranda and Port Douglas.

The next stage of expansion would see the project support 100 jobs in an economic zone which has been severely impacted by the tourism downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, EQ Resources said.

One element of those plans is to restart the historical underground mine at Mount Carbine.

The company is going through the approval process to reopen the 430m decline.

EQ Resources recently engaged Rock Financial Advisory, who assisted the company to submit a preliminary briefing report to NAIF for strategic assessment of debt funding for the upgrade and expansion of the mine and quarry operations.

“As we ramp up our work programs on the development and expansion of Mount Carbine, we are leveraging the insight and support from the expert consultants engaged for the mining, processing, and funding initiatives,” chief executive officer Kevin MacNeill said.

“Engagement with various government departments and programs has been, to date, extremely positive and encouraging, and we look forward to building on the momentum and continuing our work to secure the future and strategic development of critical minerals in Queensland and Australia.”