Tungsten

AIMR 2013

TopTungsten

Tungsten (W) metal and its alloys are amongst the hardest of all metals and tungsten itself has the highest melting point of all pure metals. The combination of its hardness and high temperature capabilities make it desirable for many commercial and industrial applications. Tungsten's range of properties also makes it difficult to substitute with other metals. It occurs as wolframite, which is an iron manganese tungstate mineral ([Fe, Mn]WO4), and scheelite (CaWO4). The major use for tungsten is within cemented carbides, which are also called hard metals. Tungsten carbide has a hardness approaching that of diamond and is used for cutting and in wear-resistant materials, primarily in the metalworking, mining, oil drilling and construction industries. Tungsten alloys are used also in electrodes, filaments (light bulbs), wires and components for electrical, heating, lighting and welding applications. Tungsten is used also in chemical applications, including as catalysts, as well as pigments for paints. Ferrotungsten (FeW) is a high value-added intermediate product and is used in steels and alloys where hardness and heat resistance are required. Tungsten is commonly supplied as mineral concentrates typically with 65% or more contained tungsten trioxide (WO3). A number of secondary tungsten compounds are also important. These include ammonium paratungstate (APT), tungsten trioxide (WO3), ferrotungsten (FeW), tungsten carbide (WC), as well as tungsten metal.

TopResources

Australia's total Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDR) of tungsten at December 2012 was 391 kilotonnes (kt), a moderate increase from 376 kt in 2011.  Increases in EDR were recorded in both Queensland (Qld) and Tasmania (Tas). Australia's EDR are in deposits at Dolphin and Bold Head on King Island in Bass Strait off Tas, Kara and Mount Lindsay in Tas, at Watershed, Mount Carbine and Wolfram Camp in Qld, O'Callaghans, Big Hill and Mount Mulgine in Western Australia (WA) and Molyhil in the Northern Territory (NT). The majority of Australia's EDR of tungsten are in WA, accounting for about 61%, most of which is in the O'Callaghans deposit (about 50%). Other significant EDR are in Tas which has 21% and Qld with 15.5%.

In 2012, Subeconomic Demonstrated Resources (comprising Paramarginal and Submarginal Resources) were 16 kt, which is equivalent to 4% of the total Demonstrated Resources. Inferred Resources decreased slightly from 107 kt in 2011 to 102 kt in 2012. Queensland accounts for 43% of Inferred Resources, followed by WA with 36%, Tas with 11% and New South Wales (NSW) with 8%.

TopAccessible EDR

All of Australia's EDR for tungsten are accessible.

TopJORC Reserves

Joint Ore Reserve Committee (JORC) Code reserves comprise total tungsten in Proved and Probable Ore Reserves as defined in the JORC Code. In 2012, JORC Code reserves of 201 kt (up from 182 kt in 2011) accounted for approximately 51% of Accessible Economic Demonstrated Resources (AEDR).

TopExploration

Data on exploration expenditure for tungsten are not reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

TopProduction

During 2012, an estimated 290 tonnes1 of tungsten was produced as concentrates, a large increase over the 15 tonnes produced in 2011, which reflected the start of tungsten production in early 2012 at Wolfram Camp and Mount Carbine in north Qld.

TopWorld Ranking

In 2012, world economic resources of tungsten are estimated to be around 3488 kt based on United States Geological Survey (USGS) data and updated by Geoscience Australia for Australia’s resources. According to the USGS, China holds approximately 54.5% of the world economic resources followed by Australia with 11.2%, Russia with 7.2% and the USA with 4%. 

The USGS estimates that world production of tungsten in 2012 amounted to 73 kt2 , which was similar to production in 2011. China was the major producer with approximately 84%, followed by Russia with 4.8%. Production for the USA was not recorded for reasons of confidentiality. Over the past few years, the Chinese Government has restricted the amount of its tungsten ores that can be offered on the world market by applying export quotas and taxes, favouring instead the export of value-added, downstream tungsten materials and products.

TopIndustry Developments

The price of tungsten rose dramatically following the global financial crisis from a low of less than US$200 per metric tonne unit (MTU = 10 kilograms) of ammonium paratungstate (APT) in late 2008 to mid-2009 to reach new highs of US$480/MTU in mid-2011. This price increase reflected growth in demand and tightening of supply by China. Prices have since eased, to below US$350/MTU in early 2013, before recovering to around US$400/MTU in September 2013, which is still above the 2000-2010 long term average levels. Price increases in the second half of 2013 have also coincided with a decrease in the value of the Australian dollar. There has been continued activity at a number of Australian projects, including production at Kara in Tasmania and Wolfram Camp and Mount Carbine in north Qld.

In November 2011, the German mining company, Deutsche Rohstoff AG (DRAG) took full control of the Wolfram Camp tungsten-molybdenum project, 90 kilometres west of Cairns in north Qld, as well as the Bamford Hill tungsten-molybdenum deposit 25 kilometres south of Wolfram Camp. In February 2012, DRAG delivered its first WO3 concentrate from Wolfram Camp. The Wolfram Camp mine was discovered in the late 19th century and has a recorded production3 of 5.4 kt of wolfram, 1.4 kt of tungsten and bismuth (Bi) and 135 tonne of molybdenum (Mo). Tungsten-molybdenum-bismuth mineralisation occurs within quartz pipe-like bodies within the greisen-altered margin of the James Creek Granite in contact with metasediments of the Hodgkinson Province. The Wolfram Camp mine was officially re-opened in July 2012. In December 2012, DRAG upgraded the treatment plant allowing greater throughput, and since February 2013 the company has been producing between three and four tonnes per day of tungsten concentrate, plus an unspecified amount of by-product molybdenum. Tungsten concentrates are handled by off-take partner USA-based Global Tungsten and Powders Corp. In November 2013, DRAG announced that the Wolfram Camp mine had officially commenced commercial operations with a planned 10-year mine life. The most current resource estimate for Wolfram Camp, which was released by Planet Metals Limited in May 2010, is 1.42 million tonnes (Mt) grading 0.6% WO3 and 0.12% Mo comprising 0.78 Mt grading 0.56% WO3 and 0.13% Mo in Indicated Resources and 0.64 Mt grading 0.65% WO3 and 0.11% Mo in Inferred Resources. In November 2013, DRAG released an updated non-JORC Code compliant, estimated inventory of about 3.8 Mt returning approximately 0.4% WO3. Continued exploration is planned to further define the resource.

Vital Metals Limited's wholly owned Watershed scheelite project 150 kilometres northwest of Cairns in north Qld has, as of 30 June 2012, Measured Resources of 4.42 Mt at 0.25% WO3, Indicated Resources of 11.51 Mt at an average grade of 0.24% WO3, in addition to Inferred Resources of 4.73 Mt at 0.26% WO3, using a cut-off grade of 0.10% WO3, for a total of 50.7 kt contained WO3. In mid–2011, Vital entered into an earn-in agreement with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), which has earned 30% of the Watershed project by co-funding a definitive feasibility study for the project. The JOGMEC interest will pass to a Japanese-owned corporation which, in partnership with Vital, will take the project into development and operation. Vital announced in July 2013 that it was extending its feasibility study to investigate tripling production rates to 3 Mt per annum, partly in response to increasing wolfram prices. The company has indicated it expects the revised feasibility study to be completed by the first quarter in 2014. Environmental approvals for the project have been granted and mining leases are expected to be granted in the near future. The Watershed deposit, originally discovered by Utah Development Company Ltd in the early 1980s, consists predominantly of quartz-scheelite vein swarms within metasedimentary rocks of the Hodgkinson Province.

Carbine Tungsten Ltd's (formerly Icon Resources Limited) Mount Carbine project, 120 kilometres northwest of Cairns in north Qld, contains the historic Mount Carbine deposit. The project includes a previous open-cut mine, tailings dams and low grade stockpile, all of which are being targeted by Carbine Tungsten. The tailing dams are estimated to contain approximately 2 Mt at 0.1% WO3. Carbine Tungsten opened a tailings re-treatment plant in March 2012, with an initial shipment of 1134 MTU of WO3 concentrate in late June 2012. The company announced that the grade of concentrate produced greatly exceeded expectations from the tailings recovery feasibility study. The company is hoping for final production of 5000 MTU a month from the re-treatment plant with an envisaged project life of around two to three years. Carbine Tungsten has an off-take agreement with Mitsubishi RtM Corporation Japan Ltd. Mount Carbine which was discovered late in the 19th century comprises wolframite and scheelite in sheeted quartz veins within metasedimentary rocks of the Hodgkinson Formation. Mineralisation is thought to be related to the nearby Permian Mount Carbine Granite. Recorded production3 at the mine totals 16.6 kt of wolfram as wolframite and scheelite concentrates. Mining at the deposit stopped in the late 1980s as a consequence of low tungsten prices. Carbine Tungsten completed a favourable feasibility study in July 2012 which investigated the economic viability of re-establishing the Mount Carbine tungsten mine. The study considered an open-cut, hard rock resource along with processing previously stockpiled low-grade material, which, together, would provide a 15-year project life. A result of this study was resource upgrades in June and August 2012, resulting in an Indicated Mineral Resource of 18.1 Mt at 0.14% WO3 and an Inferred Resource of 29.3 Mt at 0.12 % WO3 using a 0.05% WO3 cut-off for 48 kt of contained wolfram beneath and adjacent to the previous open-cut mine. Carbine Tungsten indicated that it considered the Indicated Resource is a Probable Reserve also, based on mining 3 Mtpa and receiving a price of US$290/MTU. The company has indicated that hard-rock mining would only commence after processing of the low-grade stockpile had begun. In September 2012, Carbine Tungsten released an Indicated Resource of 12 Mt at 0.07% WO3 for the low-grade stockpile. The company has reported a production target of 15 000 MTU of WO3 in concentrate a month from the low grade stockpile material which it suggests will have an 8-year mine life.

King Island Scheelite Ltd (KIS) is continuing to advance its wholly-owned Dolphin Project, located in Bass Strait on King Island, Tas. The project contains the historic open-cut and underground Dolphin mine, the underground Bold Head mine and a low-grade tailings resource, all of which are being considered by KIS for development. The deposit was discovered in 1911, and comprises tungsten and minor molybdenum mineralisation within scheelite skarns replacing dolomitic metasedimentary units of the Grassy Group. Mineralisation is related to the spatially associated Early Carboniferous granites. Originally mined as an open pit, underground mining commenced at both Bold Head and Dolphin in the early 1970s. Previous mining ceased at both mines in 1990, because of low wolfram prices. A pre-mining resource of approximately 17 Mt at 0.85% WO3 has been determined for the resource4. In 2012, KIS completed a definitive feasibility study investigating both re-treatment of the tailings and re-opening the underground mines. Outcomes of the study include a planned 10–year mine life from both underground mining and re-treatment of tailings, producing 3500 tonnes per annum (tpa) of contained WO3 in concentrate. A review of the definitive feasibility study completed in 2013 advocated shelving of the re-treatment of the tailings, and delaying underground production for several years by concentrating on an identified resource in the existing Dolphin mine open pit floor and walls. A revised study is being undertaken and is due for completion in early 2014. KIS reported in May 2013 that Indicated Resources for the Dolphin open pit remnant, Dolphin underground and the Bold Head Mine, are 0.91 Mt averaging 0.74% WO3, 4.51 Mt averaging 1.28% WO3, and 1.5 Mt averaging 0.93% WO3, respectively, for a combined total of 78.4 kt of contained WO3. Estimates of Probable Reserves for the Dolphin underground mine (excluding the open pit remnant) were upgraded in August 2011 to 2.69 Mt averaging 1.04% WO3 and containing approximately 28 kt of WO3. In June 2011, the company reported Measured Resources for the tailings at the Dolphin Mine at a cut-off grade of 0.08% WO3 as being 2.7 Mt averaging 0.17% WO3. As a result of the feasibility study review, the tailings resource is considered marginal. KIS announced in October 2013 that additional drilling at Dolphin and Bold Head to test previously recognised shallow wolfram mineralisation revealed that, potentially, it was amenable to open-cut mining.

The Mount Lindsay tin (Sn) and tungsten deposit, which is wholly owned by Venture Minerals Limited (Venture), is located 15 kilometres northwest of Renison Bell tin mine and 20 kilometres west of Rosebery in western Tas. The deposit is in magnetite (Fe3O4) rich skarns within the contact aureole of the Meredith granite, which is part of a suite of Devonian-Early Carboniferous granites that are the source rocks for a number of large tin, tungsten and magnetite deposits in western Tas and on King Island in Bass Strait. The Mount Lindsay tin-tungsten deposit has, as of October 2012, combined resources of 45 Mt at 0.4% Sn equivalent with a 0.2% cut-off, 73% of the resource is in the measured and indicated categories, or 13 Mt at 0.7% Sn equivalent at 0.45% cut-off. As of November 2012, reserves included Proven Reserves of 6.4Mt at 0.2% Sn, 0.2% tungsten oxide (WO3) and 0.1% copper (Cu), and Probable Reserves of 7.3 Mt at 0.2% Sn, 0.1% WO3, and 0.1% Cu, with a contained 30 000 tonnes of Sn. The deposit also includes an iron resource. In late 2012, Venture completed a bankable feasibility study for Mount Lindsay which highlighted the long-term potential of the deposit. Highlights of the study included a 9-year mine life, a plant capacity of 1.75 Mtpa, a payback period of four years and a capital cost of just under $200 million. The study assumed tin prices of US$23 800 a tonne. The company also completed a pilot scale metallurgical program in August 2012 which demonstrated recoveries of 72% Sn and 83% WO3, as well as high grade tungsten concentrate of more than 66% WO3.

In mid-2013, the Australian based company, Elementos Ltd (Elementos), acquired the Cleveland Tin project via a merger with the unlisted Rockwell Minerals Ltd (Rockwell), which previously controlled, and owned 50% of project. The Cleveland project in northwest Tas, 60 kilometres southwest of Burnie, includes the underground tin-copper (Sn-Cu) Cleveland mine which was mined by Aberfoyle Ltd between 1968 and 1986 and produced approximately 23.5 kt Sn and 9.7kt Cu. The mine closed because of low tin prices in the late 1980s. The Cleveland project also includes a large low-grade Sn-Cu tailings dam, as well as the Foley Zone tungsten deposit. The company has indicated it plans to undertake further drilling to test for extensions of tin and tungsten deposits. It also indicated in late 2013 that it had initiated a pre-feasibility study to assess the development potential of the hard rock and tailings dam tin and copper resources. The study, which is due for completion in the second quarter of 2014, will be based on a recently released (April 2013) JORC Code compliant resource for the Cleveland mine totalling 6119 kt at 0.68% Sn and 0.25% Cu, containing 42 kt of Sn. This includes Indicated Resources 4239 kt at 0.70% Sn and 0.28% Cu (contained 30 kt of Sn). A JORC Code compliant Inferred Resource of 3980 kt at 0.30% WO3, for a contained 12 kt of WO3, has been calculated for the associated Foley Zone tungsten deposit. Tungsten occurs as wolframite hosted within a quartz stock-work.

Tasmania Mines Ltd (Tasmines) continued production of by-product tungsten (approximately 35 tonnes of WO3 in 2012) at its Kara magnetite mine, 35 kilometres south of Burnie in northwest Tas. The mine, which has been operating since 1977, produces magnetite and scheelite from skarn mineralisation that has replaced carbonates within Cambrian and Ordovician sediments close to the Devonian Housetop Granite. In January 2013, Tasmines released updated resource figures for the mine, including, at Kara No 1, total resources of 16.58 Mt at 49% iron oxide (FeO) and 440 parts per million (ppm) WO3, which includes Measured Resources of 10.21 Mt at 199ppm WO3, and Indicated Resources of 4.60 Mt at 714ppm WO3. In addition, updated resource figures for the Eastern Ridge Magnetite Skarn, are 6.50 Mt at 48.3% FeO and 0.10% WO3, which includes Indicated Resources of 5.24 Mt at 0.12% WO3 while at Kara North 266 and the Northern Magnetic Anomaly there is a combined Inferred Resources of 14.55 Mt at 43.5% FeO and 462ppm WO3. Ore reserves, as of January 2013, for the Kara No 1 pit comprise Proven and Probable Reserves of 13.07 Mt at 45.4% FeO and 340 ppm WO3 with 71% of the Reserves in the Proven category. Based on this reserve estimate, the company indicates a mine life of 18.4 years for the Kara No 1 pit.

In January 2012, Thor Mining PLC (Thor) reported Indicated Resources of 3.8 Mt at 0.29% WO3 and 0.22% molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) and Inferred Resources of 0.9 Mt at 0.25% WO3 and 0.25% MoS2 for the company's Molyhil Tungsten and Molybdenum Project, 220 kilometres northeast of Alice Springs in the NT. Reserve figures for the deposit, reported in April 2012, include open cut Probable Reserves of 1.64 Mt grading 0.42% WO3 and 0.13% MoS2. Potential development of the project was hampered by the global financial crisis and a decline in international metal prices, which resulted in the company scaling back activities. Thor had signed an off-take agreement with one of China's largest State-owned companies, CITIC Australia Trading Limited. The agreement was for CITIC to take all of the molybdenum and tungsten concentrates produced from the project, but that agreement has since lapsed. The recent increase in tungsten prices has resulted in renewed interest and in mid-2012 Thor completed a positive definitive feasibility study of the deposit, with a 4-year mine life based on current reserves. Thor has been attempting to secure agreements for off-take of tungsten and molybdenum concentrates before beginning development of the deposit. The company announced in October 2013 that it had received a letter of intent from United States-based Global Tungsten and Powders Corp. to purchase between 70 and 75% of the annual production of scheelite concentrate from Molyhil. Discussions for the remaining tungsten and molybdenum concentrates are continuing. Thor Mining has indicated it is undertaking an upgrade of its feasibility study.

Hazelwood Resources Limited (Hazelwood) released an initial ore reserve estimate for the Big Hill deposit of Proven Reserves of 18.78 Mt averaging 0.11% WO3 and Probable Reserves of 6.43 Mt averaging 0.11% WO3. The deposit's Measured Resources are 22.94 Mt averaging 0.11% WO3, with Indicated Resources of 11.95 Mt grading 0.1% WO3 and Inferred Resources of 12.54 Mt grading 0.08% WO3 for a total resource of 47.43 Mt averaging 0.1% WO3. All the estimates were at a cut-off grade of 0.05% WO3. The deposit is part of the Cookes Creek tungsten project located 70 kilometres from Nullagine in WA. Mineralisation occurs as scheelite veins thought to be related to the spatially-associated Mesoarchean Cookes Creek Monzogranite. Hazelwood is undertaking a definitive feasibility study for the Big Hill deposit, including large scale metallurgical test work on bulk ore samples, which has demonstrated the ability to produce high purity tungsten concentrate. Hazelwood completed an integrated pre-feasibility study in 2010, which incorporated its Big Hill tungsten deposit and its jointly owned ferrotungsten project in Vietnam. In June 2011, Asia Tungsten Products Company Ltd (ATC), which is 60%-owned by Hazelwood (increasing to 100%), completed construction of a ferrotungsten plant in the Vihn Bao district near the Port of Haiphong in northern Vietnam. The plant is expected to have a capacity of approximately 3000 tpa of contained tungsten in the form of 75% grade ferrotungsten. Initial production commenced in April 2013 with 140 tonnes of contained tungsten produced up to August 2013. Hazelwood has indicated it is targeting ferrotungsten production of 1500 tpa in 2014 and 2600tpa in 2015. Current feedstock for the plant is being obtained from a variety of international sources. Hazelwood has indicated it plans to develop the Big Hill deposit to provide feedstock for the Vietnam ferrotungsten project. The company also is evaluating its wholly owned Mulgine Hill and Trench deposits of its Mount Mulgine Project, 350 kilometres north-northeast of Perth as a potential additional feedstock source. Hazelwood purchased Gindalbie Metal's 30% interest in the deposits in the second half of 2013 and commenced an engineering pre-feasibility study in October 2013. Hazelwood released resource figures for Mulgine Hill in March 2011, which, based on a cut-off grade of 0.05% WO3, included Indicated Resources of 10.16 Mt averaging 0.16% WO3 and Inferred Resources of 5.35 Mt at 0.12% WO3 for about 18 000 tonnes of contained tungsten. Indicated Resources reduce to 2.23 Mt at 0.35% WO3, using a cut-off grade of 0.2% WO3. The company also indicated that 95% of the resource is within 100 metres of the surface. Recent drilling by Minjar Gold Pty Ltd, which has the gold rights for the Mount Mulgine project, resulted in significant tungsten intersections about 300 metres from previous drilling at the Trench deposit. Intersections included 70 metres at 0.167% WO3 and 72 metres at 0.134% WO3. Mineralisation at Mount Mulgine, which includes molybdenum, is thought to represent an Archean porphyry tungsten-molybdenum system (Mulgine Hill) and associated skarn (Trench), related to the Neoarchean Mount Mulgine Granite.

Newcrest Mining Limited (Newcrest) released updated reserve and revised resource figures in December 2012 for its O'Callaghans polymetallic tungsten-copper-zinc-lead skarn deposit about 10 kilometres south of Telfer in WA. The company reported Probable Reserves of 59 Mt grading 0.28% WO3, 0.29% Cu, 0.62% zinc (Zn) and 0.3% lead (Pb), with a contained 0.16 Mt of WO3, all within Indicated Resources of 69 Mt grading 0.34% WO3, 0.29% Cu, 0.55% Zn and 0.27% Pb, and Inferred Resources of 9 Mt grading 0.25% WO3, 0.24% Cu, 0.15% Zn and 0.07% Pb. Mineralisation occurs within a sub-horizontal polymetallic skarn at the contact between the Neoproterozoic O'Callaghans granite and limestone of the Proterozoic Puntapunta Formation. Newcrest has previously indicated it is undertaking a pre-feasibility study into the deposit. Based on its 2011-12 results, Newcrest was indicating potential development of the O'Callaghans deposit within the next five years, subject to board approval.

In May 2013, Tungsten Mining NL (Tungsten Mining) announced a maiden JORC Code resource for its Kilba Project, 320 kilometres northeast of Carnarvon, in the Gascoyne region of WA. The company reported that the prospect has Indicated Resources of 1.3 Mt at 0.3% WO3 and Inferred Resources of 3.7 Mt at 0.26% WO3. Resources are from two zones (zone 8 and zone 11) with a total contained tungsten content of 10.8 kt. Tungsten mineralisation is present as scheelite associated with skarns and calc-silicate units within sediments that host the Paleoproterozoic Kilba Granite. In June 2013, Tungsten Mining announced that it had completed a positive preliminary scoping study based on mineral resources—not reserves, which led it to initiate a definitive feasibility study to upgrade the mineral resource estimate through infill drilling in zone 8 and zone 11. The study is due for completion by the second quarter of 2014.

In 2012-13, Thomson Resources continued exploratory drilling of magnetic targets within the southern part of the undercover Thomson Orogen in northwest NSW. Drilling on the eastern flank of the company's F1 anomaly (Falcon project) in early 2013 intersected anomalous tungsten (best intercept of 0.3% W over one metre), molybdenum and minor gold (Au) in what may be a zoned system. Previously, Thomson Resources reported on earlier drilling on other prospects in the Thomson Orogen which intersected evidence of mineralised hydrothermal systems. Two of these targets (Cuttaburra project) gave high grade polymetallic intercepts, with grades up to 3.7 grams per tonne (g/t) Au and to 113 g/t silver (Ag) as well as to 0.4% Bi, to 0.5% Cu, to 1.8% Pb, to 0.8% Sn, to 0.6% W and to 4.25% Zn. Mineralisation is reported to occur as sheeted and stockwork veins up to one metre wide within zones of altered basement rocks of the Thomson Orogen. On the basis of the polymetallic assemblages and presence of granite, Thomson Resources has suggested an intrusion related gold style of mineralisation for the mineral systems intersected so far. Tungsten, present as scheelite, appears to be a common feature of the majority of these mineral systems.  Thomson Resources announced in June 2013 that it had reached agreement with Cuttaburra project joint venture partner Raptor Minerals Ltd to acquire 100% of the project.

In April 2008, Peel Exploration Ltd (Peel) released an Inferred Resource estimate of 1.29 Mt at 0.61% WO3 and 0.05% Mo, at a cut-off of 0.2% WO3 equivalent, for the Attunga deposit 20 kilometres north of Tamworth in NSW. Peel followed this up in 2010-11 with a study to investigate development options which indicated conditions were favourable for a low capital expenditure operation. Mineralisation at Attunga occurs within skarns developed at the contact of a lime-rich sequence with the Permian-Triassic Inlet Monzonite. In late 2012 Peel indicated it had begun a review of the Attunga deposit and was seeking potential joint venture or off-take partners. In August 2013 Peel completed one diamond drill hole for metallurgical test-work.

Carpentaria Exploration Ltd continued work at its Broken Hill tin and tungsten project north of Broken Hill in NSW, which contain the historical Euriowie, Waukeroo and Kantappa Tin Fields, and the Yanco Glen scheelite (tungsten) deposit 40 kilometres north of Broken Hill. In 2012, Carpentaria undertook a drilling program at Yanco Glen to confirm the previous resource and test possible extensions. In October 2012 the company announced updated Inferred Resources of 3.4 Mt at 0.11% WO3, using a 0.05% WO3 cut-off, for a contained 3.95 kt of WO3, doubling the previous amount of tungsten. At the Yanco Glen deposit tungsten is present as scheelite and minor wolframite in stratabound mineralisation, occurring within high-grade gneiss (metavolcanic precursor?) and metasediments of the Paleoproterozoic Broken Hill Group. Carpentaria have been undertaking metallurgical test-work as well as a mining scoping study.

Cullen Resources has recently completed three exploration drill holes testing targets in the Doyenwae and Trig Orr prospects of its Minter Project area about 50 kilometres northwest of West Wyalong in central NSW. Target areas were based on previously identified wolfram (tin and arsenic) geochemistry anomalies from soil sampling and prior shallow drilling. The company is targeting tungsten stockwork and vein-type mineralisation associated with granite cupolas of the Silurian Kikoira Granite. Drilling in 2012 intersected multiple scheelite-bearing quartz veins in sediments. Higher grade intercepts included one metre at 0.70% WO3, 4.05 metres at 0.58% WO3 and 1.4 metres at 136% WO3. Cullen indicated in March 2013 that it was seeking a farm-in partner.

TopNotes

  1. Amount of tungsten produced estimated from daily production rates of concentrates and from an inferred 65% WO3 content.
  2. Reassessed as 73 kt up from the previously reported 72 kt.
  3. Historic production figures from Geological Survey of Queensland publications.
  4. Figures from Brown, S. G. 1990. King Island scheelite deposits, in: Hughes, F. E. (ed.). Geology of the mineral deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Monograph Serial Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 14:1175-1180.
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