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Wolf Minerals on track for 2015 tungsten mining start

Tungsten mining firm Wolf Minerals has told its investors it is on track and on budget to start work at the Hemerdon mine on the outskirts of Plymouth.

In its quarterly results, the AIM-listed company said it had satisfied all necessary conditions required to draw-down the Devon tungsten and tin mining project’s £75 million senior debt finance facilities.

The senior debt finance facilities include a £70 million term loan facility and a £5 million bond facility, and were provided by a consortia of leading, global mining financiers.

In conjunction with Wolf Minerals’ £113 million equity capital raise completed in May 2014, the senior debt finance facilities provide the requisite funding to see the Project through construction and to positive cash flow.

Wolf’s managing director, Russell Clark said: “This has been another highly successful quarter for Wolf.

“Construction activity at Hemerdon remains on track and excellent weather conditions have continued into the autumn months in the UK, contributing to significant progress being made.

“We continue to forecast an on time, on budget delivery of the Project, with first concentrate contracted for delivery in the third quarter of 2015.”

When up and running, Wolf Minerals expects to pull $100m worth of tungsten out of the ground at the facility on the edge of Dartmoor near Plympton.

The initial phase of construction activity at the project, which involved site preparation for the new processing facility and the mine waste facility, has been completed as has construction of the access road into the site and the establishment of the contractors’ offices.

The mine waste facility is now 44% complete. This facility is one of the key components of the project, and is designed to accommodate the waste from both the mine and the processing plant.

Mr Clark said 96% of the plant equipment has been delivered to the Hemerdon site, allowing for immediate installation as the foundations or supporting steelwork becomes available.

He said that the administration, laboratory and amenities buildings have been delivered and installed and will be commissioned in early 2015.

Meanwhile demolition of the pre-existing 1940’s plant infrastructure has been completed with the resultant concrete being crushed and recycled for use as road base.

The development of the open pit is still ongoing with the excavation waste used in the construction of the mine waste facility.

Mr Clark said: “There is no overburden removal required to access the orebody, as it is exposed at surface from previous operations. 60,000 tonnes of ore have been stockpiled at the mine, which will form the basis of initial feed to the processing plant.

“This ore was encountered during the mining of waste used for the construction of the mine waste facility.”

Wolf is also steadily increasing the number of its staff with 35 new employees now on the payroll and 300 other from subcontractors currently working at the site.

Mr Clark said: “The next key steps will be completing the erection of structural steel and buildings at site, the commencement of electrical installations as well as the continued installation of the processing plant equipment and the construction of the mine waste facility and associated infrastructure.”

Wolf’s website features a time lapse photography video showing the progress of both the processing plant site and mine site.

Western Morning News



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