W Resources has announced the early start-up of production of tungsten and tin concentrate at the La Parrilla mine in Spain as part of a planned staged build-up to full mine production in H1 2019.
Given current strong tungsten and tin prices, advanced construction progress and the critical priority to execute a steady ramp-up in production from the La Parrilla plant, W has now commenced the first of a three stage tungsten and tin production programme:
Stage 1 – Commence concentrate production from existing concentrator using tailings feed. Production has commenced and is expected to reach 10-15 tonnes per month (“tpm”) from November 2018 with first shipment planned for December 2018.
Stage 2 – Switch from tailings feed to higher grade crushed mine feed following completion of the La Parrilla crusher allowing an increase in production from Q1 2019. Mechanical completion of the crusher and then commissioning is on schedule for December 2018.
Stage 3 – Commence production from the new large scale concentrator in Q2 2019 following its construction completion in Q1 2019. With this final step, production is scheduled to steadily ramp-up to over 200 tpm at the end of 2019.
Early start-up of production allows W to generate revenue and cashflow ahead of large scale production at a planned run rate of 2,500 tonnes per annum of tungsten concentrate. This also allows the La Parrilla technical team to fine tune the design enhancements built into the large scale La Parrilla concentrator in the current plant and in addition enable W to now appoint and train the skilled operations and maintenance team.
Key plant design improvements to the current plant have been implemented with the aim of increasing existing plant feed capacity to 50 tonnes per hour, improving fine tungsten recoveries through segregation and treatment of discrete particle distributions through the gravity circuit, as well as improvements focused on improving the final tin concentrate specifications.
Michael Masterman, Chairman of W Resources, commented: “It’s great to be back in production ahead of start-up of the large scale plant in the New Year. Tungsten and tin prices are robust and our staged production expansion will allow W to build-up production capacity ahead of full plant completion.
“The early completion of the crusher in the Q4 2018 allows us to accelerate tungsten production from La Parrilla in three decisive steps. The first step is to start production from the existing concentrate plant. We will then significantly lift production rates in the New Year with first crushed mine feed being fed to the existing concentrator which will in turn pave the way for production from the new large scale concentrator in Q2 2019.”
In other advancements, SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd has been appointed to complete the upgraded São Martinho gold deposit resource estimate which is now scheduled for completion in Q1 2019. Following careful evaluation W has decided to switch from Golder Associates Pty Ltd to SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd for this important work, and work is already underway.
Source: Company Press Release