Dual-listed Wolf Minerals Ltd. (ASX:WLF, AIM:WLFE) has processed the first ore at the plant of its £130 million Hemerdon tungsten and tin project near Plymouth, UK, as wet commissioning gets underway.
The wet commissioning process involves extensive testing of plant equipment and is being undertaken by contractor GR Engineering, who will pass responsibility for plant operations back to Wolf in August. Testing will continue at the processing plant throughout the summer with full-scale operations set to begin in the third quarter of 2015, along with the first delivery of tungsten concentrates from the plant to offtake partners.
Within the last 15 months, 100,000 tonnes of ore has been stockpiled. Additionally, grade control drilling and the construction of the water storage and pump station, laboratory facilities and the first stage Mine Waste Facility have all been completed on schedule.
The mine, which currently employs 200 staff will be the first significant new metals mine in the UK for 45 years. The designed throughput of the plant is expected to be achieved in early 2016 with annual mine production estimated at 5,000 tonnes per year of tungsten concentrate and 1,000 tonnes per year of tin concentrate. The project DFS envisages a two-stage open pit operation with an initial ten year mine life.