TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Almonty Industries Inc. (“Almonty” or the “Company”) (TSX: AII / OTCQX: ALMTF / Frankfurt: 1MR) is pleased to announce that it has commenced the drift development at the Sangdong tungsten mine located in the Republic of Korea.
The development of approximately 4,000 meters of 4.5m x 4.5m transportation drifts, loading points, passing bays and cross cuts connecting to ore bodies is planned to be completed in 18 months and the targeted commencement of full scale mining is expected to occur in early 2020. Gangwon Mining Co., Ltd. is the contractor undertaking the work under the mine development contract executed on April 23, 2018.
All the permits for the mine development were previously obtained and the required registration of licensed personnel for health, safety, environment, explosive treatment, mechanical and electrical supervision has been completed.
The official ceremony for the first blast was held at the Sangdong mine site on September 26, 2018 with the attendance of relevant officials from the primary permit and supervision authorities including Yeongwol County Government and the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy. Promptly after the ceremony, the first blasting and subsequent development work began inside the Alfonse D portal.
Almonty’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis Black said:
“The beginning of the mine development work is an important and meaningful step to Almonty for bringing one of the largest and lowest cost tungsten mines in the world back into production after 25 years since its closure in 1993. We are particularly pleased to have engaged Gangwon Mining, the most experienced and competitive mining contractor in Korea with no record of safety incidents over 20 years.
The official commencement of underground development work will also change the status of the Sangdong mine to an operating mine which will allow the mine to be eligible for diverse local governmental support and subsidies provided by the mining promotion institutions such as the Korea Resource Corporation (KORES) and the Mine Reclamation Corporation (MIRECO).
This will widen the spectrum of government subsidies significantly, expanding from the previously announced ongoing endowment for the pilot plant which the Korea Institute for Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) has provided, with the target completion of the pilot plant expected by the end of December 2018.
The scheduled completion of drift development and mining of ore in intersecting areas together with the completion of the processing plant which is planned to be commissioned in Q2 2020 are expected to enable the Sangdong mine to start producing concentrate in the middle of 2020, regaining its reputation as one of the largest tungsten mines in the world.”
The principal business of Toronto, Canada-based Almonty Industries Inc. is the mining, processing and shipping of tungsten concentrate from its Los Santos Mine in western Spain and its Panasqueira mine in Portugal as well as the refurbishment of its Wolfram Camp Mine in north Queensland, Australia, the development of its Sangdong tungsten mine in Gangwon Province, South Korea and the development of the Valtreixal tin/tungsten project in north western Spain. The Los Santos Mine was acquired by Almonty in September 2011 and is located approximately 50 kilometres from Salamanca in western Spain and produces tungsten concentrate. The Wolfram Camp Mine was acquired by Almonty in September 2014 and is located approximately 130 kilometres west of Cairns in northern Queensland, Australia and has produced tungsten and molybdenum concentrate, although the Wolfram Camp Mine is not currently producing due to ongoing refurbishment of the processing plant. The Panasqueira mine, which has been in production since 1896, is located approximately 260 kilometres northeast of Lisbon, Portugal, was acquired in January 2016 and produces tungsten concentrate. 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 of China, was acquired in September 2015 through the acquisition of a 100% interest in Woulfe Mining Corp. Almonty owns 100% of the Valtreixal tin-tungsten project in north-western Spain. Further information about Almonty’s activities may be found at www.almonty.com and under Almonty’s profile at www.sedar.com.
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Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information
When used in this press release, the words “estimate”, “project”, “belief”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “plan”, “predict”, “may” or “should” and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. These statements and information are based on management’s beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and reflect Almonty’s current expectations.
Forward-looking statements in this press release include, among others, statements regarding Almonty’s future business plans and operations, the Sangdong mine drift development anticipated completion and targeted commencement of full scale mining and production, increased availability of local governmental support and subsidies, target completion date of the pilot plant and the anticipated timing for completion of the processing plant and the Sangdong mine to start producing concentrate.
Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Almonty to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the receipt of all required final approvals, the availability and timing of project financing, unanticipated costs and expenses, general market and industry conditions and operational risks, including large project risk and contractual factors, any specific risks relating to fluctuations in the price of ammonium para tungstate (“APT”) from which the sale price of Almonty’s tungsten concentrate is derived, actual results of mining and exploration activities, environmental, economic and political risks of the jurisdictions in which Almonty’s operations are located and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, forecasts and assessments relating to Almonty’s business, credit and liquidity risks, hedging risk, competition in the mining industry, risks related to the market price of Almonty’s shares, the ability of Almonty to retain key management employees or procure the services of skilled and experienced personnel, risks related to claims and legal proceedings against Almonty and any of its operating mines, risks relating to unknown defects and impairments, risks related to the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, risks related to governmental regulations, including environmental regulations, risks related to international operations of Almonty, risks relating to exploration, development and operations at Almonty’s tungsten mines, the ability of Almonty to obtain and maintain necessary permits, the ability of Almonty to comply with applicable laws, regulations and permitting requirements, lack of suitable infrastructure and employees to support Almonty’s mining operations, uncertainty in the accuracy of mineral reserves and mineral resources estimates, production estimates from Almonty’s mining operations, inability to replace and expand mineral reserves, uncertainties related to title and indigenous rights with respect to mineral properties owned directly or indirectly by Almonty, the ability of Almonty to obtain adequate financing, the ability of Almonty to complete permitting, construction, development and expansion, challenges related to global financial conditions, risks related to future sales or issuance of equity securities, differences in the interpretation or application of tax laws and regulations or accounting policies and rules of the TSX.
Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable, including but not limited to, the receipt of all required final approvals, no unanticipated delays in project financing, no material unanticipated costs and expenses, no material adverse change in general market and industry conditions and no unanticipated material operational risks, including large project risk and contractual factors, no material adverse change in the market price of APT, the continuing ability to fund or obtain funding for outstanding commitments, expectations regarding the resolution of legal and tax matters, no negative change to applicable laws, the ability to secure local contractors, employees and assistance as and when required and on reasonable terms, and such other assumptions and factors as are set out herein. Although Almonty has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results, level of activity, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate and even if events or results described in the forward-looking statements are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Almonty. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and are cautioned that actual outcomes may vary.
Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements. Almonty cautions that the foregoing list of material factors is not exhaustive. When relying on Almonty’s forward-looking statements and information to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events.
Almonty has also assumed that material factors will not cause any forward-looking statements and information to differ materially from actual results or events. However, the list of these factors is not exhaustive and is subject to change and there can be no assurance that such assumptions will reflect the actual outcome of such items or factors.
THE FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PRESS RELEASE REPRESENTS THE EXPECTATIONS OF ALMONTY AS OF THE DATE OF THIS PRESS RELEASE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER SUCH DATE. READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE IMPORTANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY UPON THIS INFORMATION AS OF ANY OTHER DATE. WHILE ALMONTY MAY ELECT TO, IT DOES NOT UNDERTAKE TO UPDATE THIS INFORMATION AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME EXCEPT AS REQUIRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS.