Tungsten West has announced an update to ore reserve and resource estimates for its Hemerdon tungsten-tin project, Devon, UK.
Most improvements were made to the Ore Reserve Estimate (ORE) – ore tonnages increased by 60% and contained metal by 10%, compared with the last update in January 2021. The 2022 update comes as part of the work completed for its updated Feasibility Study.
Development of the Hemerdon’s processing plant was suspended due to inflationary pressure in mid-2022. An update to the development plan followed, reducing energy costs and capital expenditure to offset the effects of inflation – “these initiatives, in turn, have had a positive impact of the Ore Reserves”, commented Mark Thompson, CEO, Tungsten West.
Tin contained in Hemerdon’s Total Ore Reserves now totals over 30,000 tonnes. Most tin and tungsten is found in the Hemerdon granite, with much of the remainder found in the lower grade host metasedimentary material (locally known as “killas”). The company plans to stockpile the killas material until completion of the mining phase, maximising the projects Net Present Value. After this phase, the stockpiled material will be reclaimed.
Reductions to operational costs have also slightly benefitted the 2022 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) update. Cut-off grades were reduced, mainly in the killas material, increasing contained metal estimates despite no material differences from the last MRE update.
A summary of the updated Feasibility Study is expected in the near future, which will further detail the company’s cost-saving initiatives.
Our View: This update is positive news for Tungsten West, who now claim Hemerdon is the second largest CRIRSCO reported tungsten resource globally. With the company recently acquiring two key permits out of the four required to start up production, the operations are expected to restart in the second half of the year.