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Wolf Minerals expects improvement as year progresses

As mining gets deeper hard granite rock become the principal feedstock.

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Deeper drilling will boost performance believes Wolf

Devon-based tungsten miner Wolf Minerals Ltd (LON:WLFE) expects the performance at the Drakelands (Hemerdon) mine to improve as it drills through into harder granite deeper below the surface.

So far, Wolf has been processing soft, weathered ore at the top of its deposit, but this has produced a much finer particle size than anticipated, which has affected the processing efficiency.

Drakelands’ orebody is located in a large granite dyke that outcrops to surface and Wolf says that as mining gets deeper, the weathering will reduce and hard granite rock become the principal feedstock.

In six months to December, the processing plant treated 968,000 tonnes of ore and produced 55,200 metric tonne units (mtu) of tungsten concentrate, with problems with the kiln also affecting output.

Losses in the half year were A$37.7mln (£24.3mln) with a slump in the tungsten price not helping the junior, though Wolf did generate its first significant of revenues at A$10.9mln.

Wolf is being supported by its major shareholder, Resources Capital, which provided a £30mln bridge facility last October, with the final £10mln tranche just drawn down.

The company also restructured its £64mln senior debt with first repayments pushed backed until the start of 2018.

Drakelands is near Plymouth and Wolf added it has had to rebuild a section of the Lee Moor Road at a cost of £7.5mln.

Quick facts: Wolf Minerals Limited

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ASX:WLF
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Demise of Wolf Minerals Ltd 'a blow for UK mining' - Alastair Ford

Mining Capital's Alastair Ford discusses the collapse this week of Wolf Minerals Limited (LON:WLFE) (ASX:WLF). Ford says what really did it for Wolf was simply that the economics of production at Hemerdon never really stacked up. He adds that its major investor RCF will now be staring...

on 12/10/18

2 min read