W Resources says it has signed a contract with FPMI to provide low cost haulage and crushing services to its Régua tungsten project in northern Portugal.
Under the contract, once mining has commenced, ore from Régua will be hauled 27 km to the existing FPMI crusher and crushed to a range of 5-10 mm. As part of the service contract, FPMI will use the waste ore for rehabilitation of its existing quarry providing local environmental benefits. The estimated crushing and haulage cost is around $40-45 per metric tonne unit (mtu) and W will pay €50,000 ($56,020) to expand access roads for haulage.
The Régua mine and processing circuit comprises near-horizontal adit mining using contract mining and a combination of open stoping and room and pillar; haulage of ore from mine face to FPMI crushing plant; crushing of ore to 5-10 mm using the existing FPMI crusher, and; processing the crushed ore through to tungsten concentrate using the existing La Parrilla concentrator plant, which will be moved to Régua and upgraded later this year.
Golder Associates, which completed the JORC compliant mineral reserves and resource estimate for Régua in 2015, is working on the updated estimate and has advised it will be completed no later than early-October.
The current resources is 5.46 Mt at 0.28% WO3, with the mine on-track and targeting first ore in 2019. The development of Régua (on top of the operating mine at La Parrilla) will increase W Resources tungsten production profile to over 3,800 t/y, the company says.
Michael Masterman, Chairman of W Resources, said: “Régua is a high-grade, low-capital cost tungsten mine development with significant scope to increase the resource base, which is currently underway. The haulage and crushing services contract with FPMI allows W to advance Régua to development with efficient capital deployment.
“Our aim is to bring Régua into commercial production with sensible capital deployment leveraging contract mining, haulage and crushing contracts, thereby keeping the capital costs of development low. The FPMI contract is an important step in achieving this objective.”