Wolf Minerals has identified the Hemerdon project as a major new source of supply of tungsten for global manufacturing and industry. Having been mined and explored during the 20th century Wolf has built up a JORC defined model, leading to the successful completion of bankable feasibility study that identifies Hemerdon as a highly economic potential producer of low cost tungsten located near a range of viable infrastructure routes.
Wolf has completed all the necessary delineation work for mining finance at Hemerdon and is waiting for final approvals for a 650m new mine road before contracting and development ramp up can be scheduled during 2012. The redevelopment of the mine is expected to be completed by 2013, pending approvals, and become one of the world’s largest, high margin suppliers to industries.
The British Geological Survey in September 2011 listed Tungsten as one of the top five strategically important metals and development of the Hemerdon mine would mean the UK would be host to a major secure source of processed Tungsten. 60% of global Tungsten reserves are currently located in the Peoples Republic of China.
Wolf considers that Hemerdon offers exceptional large scale, low risk, long life production as well as providing exploration opportunity, with the extent of mineralisation beneath the pit yet to be determined.
The mineralisation is characterised by sheeted greisen veining and stockworks containing wolframite and cassiterite. The vein system is hosted within a dyke like granite body. The mineralisation starts from the surface and is contained within the steeply dipping granite body flanked by metamorphosed sediments.
Plan view of project and adjacent clay pits.
Following the acquisition of Hemerdon, the company has wasted little time in developing the project. In early 2008 Wolf commissioned SRK Consulting (Australasia) Pty Ltd (SRK) to provide a resource based on the existing drilling data as defined by AMAX.
Wolf then commissioned scoping level studies to determine the capital cost of a processing plant and associated infrastructure, the cost per tonne to process ore, the mining costs as well as the cost of administration at the Hemerdon Ball mine.
These studies utilised information from the historic feasibility study conducted by AMAX in 1982. The outcomes of these studies were very positive and Wolf commenced a Definitive Feasability Study.
Table 1: Classified Mineral Resurce Estimate including killas UC 12.5 x 12.5 x 5m (>0.063%WO3) published in DFS May 2011
Table 2:Summary of Updated Ore Reserves at a 0.063%WO3 published in DFS May 2011
The overall planned pit dimensions are 800m in length, 450m in width and 230m in depth.
Figure 1: Computer generated image looking north at the Hemerdon feasibility study pit showing resource oreblocks of tungsten mineralisation.
Planning approval for the Hemerdon Ball mine was granted in June 1986 and is valid until 2021. The planning approval was granted after a comprehensive public enquiry. Although the planning permission is current, Wolf is currently reviewing and updating the archaeological and ecological baseline study completed in 1979 to update the granted planning permission in line with best practice techniques. Wolf has appointed a UK based Mineral Planning consultant to implement the planning permission.