The first sale of 20 t of tungsten concentrate from the Barruecopardo mine, in Spain, has been concluded, 30%-owner Ormonde reported this week.
The sale marks an important milestone for the mine as it continues its ramp-up phase. The mine is designed to produce 260 000 metric tonne units (or 2 600 t) of tungsten trioxide contained in concentrate each year when it is in full operation.
However, on the mining front, there were some setbacks.
Ormonde reported that initial access to the south end of the main orebody, which had been anticipated early in the fourth quarter, had been delayed owing to the discovery of old, backfilled, undocumented mine workings within the southern starter pit, where high grade tungsten mineralisation had been expected.
Current mining reached the base of these workings at their southern end and ore grades from this initial exposure of the main ore zone were expected to improve accordingly.
As mining advanced northwards, the ore depletion arising from the old workings would continue to have an impact on ore feed grades until mining reaches the continuous section of the high-grade main orebody below the historic pit, which was proven by drilling.
“There continues to be a strong emphasis on the waste stripping of the east wall cutback to facilitate access to the full strike extent of the main orebody.”
Ormonde said Saloro's mine plans were being updated to reflect the current mining situation.