Wolf Minerals reports that during the March quarter it implemented significant equipment changes and modifications in the processing plant at its Drakelands tungsten/tin mine, in Devon. These modifications have resulted in improvements in ore throughput rates in the plant and in the grade of tungsten concentrate being produced.
In addition, open pit mining operations are now fully in the harder (and coarser) ore, which has reduced the quantity of fines in the plant and consequently helped performance and recoveries.
During the March quarter (Q3 17), the plant treated 460kt (Q3 16: 311kt) of ore and produced 26,903 mtu (Q3 16: 17,697 mtu) of tungsten in concentrate, as well as 41t of tin in concentrate. Revenue from sales of concentrates was A$5.9m (Q3 16: A$3.8m).
Cash expenses during the quarter consisted of A$3.4m on development, A$7.6m on production and A$5.5m on finance costs. The company had A$7.7m cash at the end of the quarter and A$11.4m in available loan facilities from major shareholder, RCF. Forecast cash outflows for the current quarter are A$26.5m and the company is looking at options to secure further working capital.
The company opened a new public road to replace a 5km section of Lee Moor Road located, at the base of the mining waste facility, in April 2017.
Work in the plant will continue to focus on optimisation of throughput and recoveries as well as ways to reduce low frequency noise associated with the vibrating screens.
In April, the company promoted CFO, Richard Lucas, to interim Managing Director to replace Russell Clark, who has resigned. The company has also appointed Calum Semple to the new role of Chief Operating Officer, on a short-term contract basis.
Finally, the company notes that APT and concentrate prices have improved in Europe.
Wolf reports improved operations at Drakelands: WLFE