Increased resources at Panasqueira

Primary Metals has completed new resource estimates for its 3,000 t/d Panasqueira tungsten mine in Portugal. The 2007 figures result in an increase in reserves and resources and an increase in grade compared to the 2006 estimates.

The total proven and probable reserve estimate has increased to 2.43 Mt at 0.243% WO3 compared to the 2006 estimate of 1.39 Mt at 0.233% WO3. This shows an increase of 1 Mt together with a small increase in the tungsten grade of the reserves. The proven and probable reserve estimates combined with the indicated resource estimates total 5.13 Mt, an increase from the 4.65 Mt estimated in 2006. The proven and probable reserves are sufficient to provide feed to the process plant for four years at the current operating rate of 600,000 t/y, assuming tungsten prices near current levels or higher and the indicated resources, if converted to reserves, would provide a further 4.5 years of plant feed. All of the reserves are accessible from existing workings; some of the resources will require additional mine development for access.

Estimated proven and probable reserves total 2.43 Mt at 0.243% WO3 with additional indicated resources of 2.7 Mt at 0.277% WO3. In addition, there are a further 1.8 Mt of inferred resources at 0.224% WO3, as well as additional exploration potential. Together, the proven and probable reserves and indicated resources total 5.13 Mt at 0.261% WO3.

“We have recently completed our new D9 development ramp between mine levels 2 and 3 to start opening up the new reserves. The additional information resulting from this work has enabled upgrading of nearly 1 Mt of indicated resources to the probable reserve category,” said Lewis Black, Chairman of the company. “These new estimates, together with our recently announced plans to reduce mine costs and increase revenues, confirm our confidence in continuing to invest in the long term future of the Panasqueira mine. The presence of wolframite in the newly-developed D9 area of the mine opens a large under-explored area of levels 2 and 3 from D9 all the way to the northern Pan Deep area of the Panasqueira mine,” he stated. “We also anticipate continued strength in tungsten prices.”