Mining and mineral processing

Tasmania is one of the most highly and diversely mineralised areas in the world. The extraction and processing of mineral resources is a significant sector of Tasmania's economy.  Tasmania has extensive high-grade mineral deposits close to transport infrastructure, coupled with supportive legislation for exploration and development.

The major minerals currently extracted include copper, gold, lead, magnetite, silver, tin, zinc, and ultra-high purity silica flour. Opportunities exist for investment in exploration, extraction and downstream processing of minerals in Tasmania. This is particularly true in the west coast and north-east regions of Tasmania which offer a world-class opportunities for mineral prospectivity in areas that are largely unexplored.

Existing major mineral processing operations include large-scale aluminium and zinc smelters, a manganese ferro-alloy smelter and an iron-ore pelleting plant.

Tasmania offers:

  • geological diversity – Tasmania has a remarkable range and abundance of mineral deposits related to multiple mineralising events  
  • exploration opportunities – a significant increase in exploration expenditure over recent years demonstrates continued industry confidence in Tasmania's potential  
  • high quality port access – offering access to worldwide markets  
  • 3-D modelling – investors can access a 3-D computer-based geological model of Tasmania that simulates exploration interest to 1 000 metres below the surface  
  • an integrated geological and mineral exploration information system (TIGER) available through Mineral Resources Tasmania
  • TasExplore – new geological, magnetic, radiometric and gravity data for north-east Tasmania and an improved geological correlation between western and north-west Tasmania  
  • legislation – designed to facilitate investment and ensure transparent approval processes.  

Opportunities for exploration

Rocks from every period of the Earth's history from the Late Proterozoic period are present in the state and there have been at least four major episodes of economic mineralisation.  Significant deposits include:

  • proterozoic iron ore  
  • silica, dolomite and magnesite  
  • cambrian volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposits (VMS or VHMS) gold and ultramafic-related platinum group minerals (PGM) and chromite  
  • devonian granite-related tin-tungsten and silver-lead-zinc deposits  
  • devonian slate-belt gold deposits  
  • cainozoic alluvial gold, tin and PGMs and residual iron oxide, silica and clay.  

Further information  

Mineral Resources Tasmania