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W ahead of schedule at La Parrilla

W Resources (AIM:WRES) has started tungsten and tin concentrate production ahead of schedule at its La Parrilla mine in Spain.
W ahead of schedule at La Parrilla W ahead of schedule at La Parrilla W ahead of schedule at La Parrilla W ahead of schedule at La Parrilla W ahead of schedule at La Parrilla

W Resources' La Parrilla is on its way to reaching 2,500tpa production next year

Staff reporter

The market was pleased with the news of early revenue, with W shares rising 5.83% Tuesday morning to 0.54p (US0.69c). 

W said the earlier start afforded the mine's technical team time to fine tune the design enhancements built into the La Parrilla concentrator in the current plant, which were aimed at increasing existing feed capacity to 50 tonnes per hour, improving fine tungsten recoveries and improving final tin concentrate specifications.

It added it also allowed the company more time to appoint and train the operations and maintenance team.

Once fully developed, La Parrilla will be a 2 million tonnes per annum operation and, as part of the first phase of development, W expects to reach production of 2,500tpa of tungsten concentrate in the first half of 2019.

The first phase includes a three-stage production programme, gearing it up to take advantage of strong tin and tungsten prices.

The first stage was starting concentrate production from the existing concentrator using tailings feed, with output expected to reach 10-15 tonnes per month in November and the first shipment planned for December.

The company will then increase output in the March quarter by changing from the tailings feed to higher-grade crushed mine feed after completing and commissioning the mine's crusher in December.

Production is expected to ramp up to 200tpm by the end of 2019 after the third stage, which includes starting production from the new large-scale concentrator in the June quarter after completing construction of it during the January-March period.

W chairman Michael Masterman said tungsten and tin prices were robust and La Parrilla's staged production expansion will allow the company to build-up production capacity ahead of full plant completion.

"The early completion of the crusher … allows us to accelerate tungsten production from La Parrilla in three decisive steps," he said. 

"The first step is to start production from the existing concentrate plant. We will then significantly lift production rates in the New Year with first crushed mine feed being fed to the existing concentrator which will in turn pave the way for production from the new large-scale concentrator."

Earlier in the year, W signed offtake deals for 80% of La Parrilla's tungsten concentrate with Austrian firm Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten and an unnamed US company.