Woulfe Mining has made major steps in progressing its flagship Sangdong tungsten-molybdenum project in South Korea. European-made Metso minerals crushing and feeding equipment has been delivered to the site which is serviced by significant existing industrial infrastructure.
The company has also built an underground storage facility and completed the first blast at the site since it was closed in 1993. A footwall ore body was blasted to become the initial point of mining and has allowed Woulfe to extract two bulk samples for proof of process through metallurgical test work and APT/oxide plant design.
The mine, which is about 187km southeast of Seoul, is now open from one level in the base of the valley floor to the top of the mountain and across the entire 1.2km strike of the ore body. Many new target areas have been discovered that were initially prepared by Korea Tungsten prior to the 1993 closure of the mine caused by commodity prices falling by 600%.
“Woulfe is excited to see all levels of the mine open above the valley floor, three drills running 24/7, the commencement of blasting work and the first arrival of equipment on site,” says the company’s CEO Brian Wesson.
The Sangdong tungsten mine was one of the world’s largest tungsten mines for 40 years. Woulfe has spent the last 18 months focused on building the Sangdong team reopening the mine. A scoping study in March 2010 determined that the project’s net production value was US$467 million, based on a commodity price of $25,000 per tonne of ammonium paratungstate (APT). Now, the APT price is $45,000 per tonne and Woulfe has accelerated the project due to the robust market. The company aims to move to production by the end of 2012
The company is also focused on the Muguk gold project which is historically Korea’s largest producing gold mine. In 1998 Korea Resources Corporation reported a combined resource of 615,956 ounces of gold and 3,321,599 ounces of silver. Woulfe has started a drilling campaign and appointed consultants to prepare an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate.