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Wolf Minerals encouraged by tungsten price and plant improvements

The price of tungsten rose to a three-year high of over US$310 per metric tonne during the quarter
picture of light bulbs
Things looking a bit brighter for Wolf

Wolf Minerals Limited (LON:WLFE) has enjoyed one its best quarters since production started at its Hemerdon tungsten mine in Devon.

The price of tungsten rose to a three-year high of over US$310 per metric tonne during the quarter to September, while concentrate production and sales rose by 15% to 35,601 mtu.

READ: Wolf Minerals gets £10mln boost as working capital bridge facility increased

Wolf has been dogged by teething problems at the plant since commissioning in 2015, which have included noise complaints from local residents close to the mine near Plymouth.

As a result, production has been cut back to weekdays only instead of seven days a week previously.

Improvements to processing plant and mine are ongoing, said Wolf, with the next stages to be an intermediate pit design to boost project cashflow and work on possible pre-processing opportunities to enhance the ore feed quality.

Wolf has relied on financial support from its major shareholder Resource Capital to tide it over. The fund manager recently increased Wolf's bridge loan facility to £55mln with the mine used as security.

Richard Lucas, interim managing director,  said: "The September quarter has been a very encouraging one.

“We are on track to address our remaining operational challenges and achieve a sustainable production platform.”

READ: Wolf Minerals working on reducing the tin din

Lucas added the miner was also committed to reducing low frequency noise from the mine, which will allow it to resume seven-day working.

“The tungsten price continued its remarkable run during the Quarter, reaching a three year high in September of US$310 per mtu in Europe before stabilising in October.

“There are positive indications for prices to remain supported at current levels, which is providing confidence for our future plans.”

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