Australian tin producer and project developer, Aus Tin Mining, has announced that it has received formal approval from Tasmania’s West Coast Council for the expansion of its Granville Tin Project in Tasmania. This removes a significant hurdle for a resumption of mining at the site.

The company has already been producing tin concentrate by processing tailings material and ore stocks at Granville but has been limited by existing user rights which restrict annual processing to 2,500 tonnes of ore. The new approval increases this limit to 40,000 tonnes of ore as well as being able to resume mining at the high-grade Granville East Mine where previous exploration work by the company has indicated near surface grades exceeding 2% Sn from several boreholes. The expansion itself is projected to result in an increase in tin output to 550 tpa of tin-in-concentrate; at a cash cost of A$15,600 per tonne of tin (around US$12,000 per tonne).

Remaining requirements for expansion include construction of waste rock emplacements at the mine and a new tailings storage facility at the current processing plant as well as submission of operating plans to various regulators, which Aus Tin hopes to finalise by the end of this quarter.

CEO, Peter Williams said, “the Granville Expansion is an important milestone that will enable the Company to resume mining at the high-grade tin Granville East Mine, and provides the platform from which the Company can generate cash flow to fund its portfolio of projects.”

ITRI View: Aus Tin has recently secured a $3.25M funding package to finance implementation of the approved expansion at Granville as well as development work at Taronga, the company’s tin project in New South Wales, for which a development application for a trial mine and pilot plant is currently being progressed. Both Granville and Taronga are good examples of how a staged approach to project development is reducing investment risk by seeking to confirm the technical viability of the process flow sheet at low capital cost through smaller-scale pilot plant testing and trial mining.