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Wolf Minerals working to improve throughput at Drakelands

As reported last week, the firm has renegotiated the terms of its financing while it works towards a declaration of commercial production.

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In terms of operations, favourable weather meant good progress at the mine and waste facility, with 728,452 bank cubic metres of material moved

Wolf Minerals Limited (LON:WLFE, ASX:WLF) continues to work on increasing throughput at its Drakelands tungsten mine in Devon having restructured its debt, it said, outlining activities in the three months to September 30.

As reported last week, the firm has renegotiated the terms of its financing while it works towards  a declaration of commercial production.

A 12-month £20 mln bridge facility has also been put in place with its main backer, while debt payments have been deferred.

In terms of operations, favourable weather meant good progress at the mine and waste facility, with 728,452 bank cubic metres of material moved.

The processing plant treated 505,414 tonnes of ore in the three months, generating 29,981 metric tonne units (mtu) of tungsten concentrate - both quarterly records.

Production is expected to increase due to design changes over coming quarters but completion of all these elements is not expected until the first half of 2017.

The firm's passage toward commercial production has been hindered because the company has encountered a finer-than-expected ore and because the tungsten price has remained weak.

A transition from such ore to the harder granite is expected to take place over the 12 months.

Also earmarked for this December quarter is continuing the trial of seven days a week, 24 hour operations at the plant and continuing to build the mine waste facility.

The group spent a total of A$28.5 million in the quarter, including A$6.1 million on development, A$13.8 million on production and A$8.7 million on debt service and repayment, with revenue of A$4 million. 

Broker SP Angel said: "The Drakelands mine is currently being supported by its major shareholder while it resolves issues of the quality of its ore feed and implements improvements to the processing plant.

"These changes will take some time. The current APT price remains at historically low levels, and demand for tungsten concentrates is mixed, however, the company could perhaps be fortunate if prices recover as its operational performance improves over the medium term."

Shares  added 1.47% to 4.82p

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Price: 0.035 AUD

ASX:WLF
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $38.18 m
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