Almonty Industries has received the final surface permit required to begin development of the Sangdong Tungsten Project in Gangwon Province, South Korea. The permit means work can now begin, once financing is secured, on the processing plant and the road and river diversion.

The project is now fully permitted and the EPC contract expected to be signed within the next four weeks.

The Sangdong mine, which was historically one of the largest tungsten mines in the world and one of the few long-life, high-grade tungsten deposits outside China, was acquired by Almonty in September 2015 through the acquisition of Woulfe Mining Corp.

Almonty’s chairman, president and CEO Lewis Black said: “Obtaining the final permits ahead of schedule will enable Almonty to begin construction of the Sangdong mine as soon as funding has been finalised.

“We continue to work with our banks and an industry participant on the final funding package for the build-out of Sangdong and will update the market once the agreements have been finalised. We are still anticipating a commission date of quarter one, 2018.”

The company has also exercised its option on the Valtreixal Tin-Tungsten Project in northwest Spain and now owns 100% of the project.

“Acquiring control of Valtreixal further cements Almonty’s position as the leading producer of tungsten concentrate outside of China. We anticipate that Valtreixal will have a lower cost of production than our Los Santos Mine in western Spain, which already operates at a lower cost than any non-by-product western tungsten mine, enabling Almonty to benefit further from a recovering market demand for tungsten concentrate. We are currently in the permitting stage and anticipate receiving all necessary approvals in 2017,” Lewis Black said.

The company also produces tungsten from its Wolfram Camp Mine in north Queensland, Australia, and its Panasqueira mine in Portugal.

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