Wolf Minerals has seen significant improvements to its tungsten/tin processing operations at the Drakelands mine during the first trial period of an operating turnaround plan during the month of June 2017. Average daily ore throughput in the final week of June reached almost 10kt, a 43% increase on the previous week. Wolf developed the plan in conjunction with leading gravity separation experts.
Based on these results, Wolf will make specific equipment changes within the plant in late August with ongoing engineering and implementation continuing through until October 2017. The company hopes to achieve a sustainable production platform during the December quarter, from which further volume and optimisation improvements can be made. A key challenge remains the recovery of tungsten in fines and the company is updating the resource model to get a better idea of tungsten distribution in future ore feed.
Mining activity is continuing into deeper levels in the open pit, with a corresponding increase in harder ore feed for the processing plant.
During the June 2017 quarter, the processing plant treated 491kt of ore (up 7% from the previous quarter) and produced 31kmtu of tungsten in concentrate, which is a 15% increase on the March quarter.
Revenue from sales of concentrates was A$6.7m. Expenses were A$4.0m on development, A$11.6m on production and A$3.5m on G&A. Interest on debt was A$5.5m. Forecast cash outflows for the September quarter are A$34m.
The company has now drawn down the full £40m bridging loan facility from major shareholder, RCF, although RCF can advance an additional £5m at its discretion. The bridge loan will be converted in October to either a subordinated convertible loan or a subordinated loan.
Finally, the company notes that APT prices have improved in Europe, rising to an average US$216 per mtu in the June quarter, up from US$204 per mtu in the March quarter.
Wolf increases tungsten production with adoption of turnaround plan: WLFE