WCM becomes Australia’s only producing tungsten mine/Further exploration planned
Wolfram Camp – Heidelberg. Wolfram Camp Mining (WCM), the fully owned subsidiary of Deutsche Rohstoff AG (DRAG) has announced that the first tungsten concentrate produced from the Wolfram Camp mine in Far North Queensland is currently en-route to offtaker Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. in Towanda, USA.
Chief Executive Officer of WCM, Gus Phillips, commented: “Today is a significant milestone for both DRAG and WCM in establishing a project of this value and scope. To have our first commercial shipment underway has been an excellent achievement, this would not have been possible without the dedication and experience of our management team and all site personnel. We are delighted to be the first primary tungsten miner in Australia since the mid-1980s and the team on site should be very proud of this achievement”.
Wolfram Camp Mining, commenced project development in July 2011, with subsequent plant commissioning and initial production in November 2011. WCM is extremely pleased to have achieved a 65% – 70% WO3 concentrate for the first shipment. In the coming months, the priority is optimizing the treatment plant, which will include the installation of an x-ray ore sorter developed in Germany. From about mid-year, the planned daily production shall reach four tons of WO3-concentrate and increase to six tons per day in the third quarter. At that time, molybdenum concentrates will also be produced.
Wolfram Camp mine is forecast to produce approximately 7,000 tonnes of WO3 concentrates and 800 tonnes of molybdenum concentrates over the next 4 years. These production outputs will account for approximately 2% of the total global tungsten production.
Additional exploration will be focused on the expansion of the current (JORC) inferred + indicated resource of 1.42m tons @ 0.60% WO3 + 0.12% MoS2. Drilling to the northwest of the current open pit is scheduled to commence in April 2012 with a revised resource model and optimized mine plan to be completed by the end of the year. Wolfram Camp Mining also holds in excess of 300 km2 of surrounding prospective terrain under granted exploration tenements and tenement applications, which will be systematically explored for related rare metal (W-Mo-Bi) mineralization to further extend the life of the project.
The currently defined mine resource at Wolfram Camp mine was confined to 600 meters within the known mineralised zone containing historical mine workings over a strike length of 1.5 kilometres. There is enormous potential to increase the current resource along strike and at depth.
This first shipment brings Australia back on the world map of tungsten mining. Australia was a key primary source for tungsten until the mid-80’s, however all Australian tungsten mines were subsequently decommissioned due to prevailing low prices for tungsten concentrates. Wolfram Camp, known as prolific tungsten area since 1890, is the first Australian tungsten project to resume production. Another nearby former tungsten mine, Bamford Hill, has also been acquired by Deutsche Rohstoff AG recently. Before World War One, North Queensland was the world’s biggest tungsten supplier, with Wolfram Camp and Bamford Hill as key mining centres.
Heidelberg, 6 March 2012