Almonty Posts Operational Update On Its Mines In Portugal, Spain And South Korea
SEP 4, 2019 | KOREA TUNGSTEN, LOS SANTOS, NEWS RELEASE, PANASQUEIRA, VALTREIXAL
Toronto (BUSINESS WIRE) – September 04, 2019 – Almonty Industries Inc. (TSX: AII) (“Almonty”) provides an update on operational development at its wholly owned mines in Portugal, Spain and South Korea.
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The Panasqueira Mine in Portugal (“Panasqueira”) announces that the second tailings dam has been completed and is ready for operation. The completion of the second tailings dam (phase one) will enable Panasqueira to process and store tailings for another 6 years at the rate of 800,000 ton mining per annum. € 1,000,000 has been spent over 3 years towards the construction of this new tailings dam. All the pumping and piping systems connecting the processing plant and the new tailings dam have been installed and have completed a trial operation.
The first pumping of tailings to the new tailings dam is expected to begin before January 2020 when the remaining capacity of the old tailings dam would have been fully consumed. The new tailings dam has been designed in compliance with the environmental and safety regulations of Portugal and the EU. In addition to the application of stringent safety standards in the engineering, the new tailings dam is designed for the second phase expansion for an additional 4 years by placing a surrounding 10 meter height retaining wall. A further phase three is now planned to increase capacity by a further 10 years. Thus, a total of 20 years additional capacity is anticipated after the completion of all three phases.
The Los Santos Mine in Spain (“Los Santos”) has achieved an approximate 50% recovery rate of WO3 from its tailings retreatment as a result of continuing tests and trials — a substantial improvement from the 35-40% recovery rate attained in the initial stage of tailings retreatment. This improvement in the recovery rate has been obtained through the tuning of processing equipment more apt for fine material like tailings. The Company continues to improve and increase its knowledge in the area of tailings reprocessing and further demonstrates the Company’s commitment to invest into tungsten technologies which is paramount to remain competitive.
On September 3, 2019, the Company’s Sangdong Mine in South Korea has entered into a Contract for Construction of Buildings and Architectural Work with Ilkang K-Span, a local contractor for architectural building of the Milling & Flotation Building, Ore Shed, Office Building and Cranes. The contract price is Korean Won 4,110 million (equivalent to US Dollars $3.4), with the completion target in early 2021.
With respect to project equipment, Metso, the supplier of primary equipment for the Sangdong processing plant, has completed the locked cycle tests of the Sangdong ore in its laboratory in the USA which has served as a basis for the completion of the processing flow diagram for the Sangdong plant. Detailed engineering work of Metso is now underway. AKT has also begun the detailed engineering work on its backfill plant in coordination with UpMS, a European paste fill specialist firm.
Also during September 2019, at the request of KfW-IPEX Bank (the lending bank for the Sangdong Mine project), Almonty converted a certain amount of its intercompany debt into equity of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Almonty Korea Tungsten Corporation (“AKT”), thereby eliminating any shareholder deficiency on AKT’s balance sheet.
Almonty’s Chairman, President and CEO Lewis Black said:
“We are pleased to report the meaningful development at each of the Almonty mines. The completion of the second tailings dam at Panasqueira will ensure the tailings to be generated in the next 10 years from this historic mine to find its place in this new tailings dam assuring the continued seamless operation of the mine which has more than 20 years of LOM under NI 41-101 resources. The new tailings dam will be instrumental to this premier mine which still produces the best quality wolframite concentrate, continuing its record-breaking journey at the steady pace of 700,000 to 750,000 tpa mining.
The substantially increased recovery ratio in the tailings retreatment at Los Santos is a remarkable achievement. Close to 50% recovery is unprecedented in the history of tailings retreatment in the Western tungsten space which will help the mine to sustain its competitive cost structure.
Upon the execution of this Building Contract, the Sangdong Mine can get into the process of obtaining clearance on the detailed architectural engineering works from the County government. Such clearance is expected to be granted by January 2020, ahead of the planned groundbreaking in spring 2020. The development with Metso and UpMs is also encouraging as they have proven that the metallurgical performance and environmental treatment would materialize in line with the plan ascertaining the competitiveness of the Sangdong operation.”