W Resources plc (LON:WRES) Chairman Michael Masterman caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their latest La Parrilla update.
Q1: Michael, when we last spoke, you’d had a busy first quarter a La Parrilla and it seems the pace continues. A couple of weeks back, you announced the first ore fed to the commissioned jig and mill plant at La Parrilla, can you just talk us through that?
A1: There’s four parts, if you like, to the La Parrilla process, there’s the mining which we announced today, there’s the crushing which is fully commissioned and fully operational, there’s the jig and the mill and then the concentrator.
So, what we’ve been doing for the last 3 or 4 weeks is commissioning the jig and feeding crushed ore through the jig to get all the balances right, to get all the upgrades right and that’s upgraded material. When we pass the crushed ore through the jig, we increase the grade and reject some of the waste mass and we take that jig material to our existing concentrator.
Q2: Today you announced an agreement with General de Maquinaria y Excavación which has been awarded a mining contract for the La Parrilla tungsten project in Spain. Can you just explain for us now what this means for W Resources?
A2: We’ve signed the formal contract, GME for short has all of the primary equipment in place and are mining away at La Parrilla.
I think the most important takeaway is that the cost structure in that contract is very much in line with final investment decision report in which the lower operating costs of the mine were laid out so the contract confirms that we can mine at those estimated rates that we were expecting.
One of the most important things, particularly in these volatile times, is having low operating costs so with a low strip ratio and low mining costs we’re well placed to make sure we’ve a very low cost long life mine.
Q3: With all of the pieces of the puzzle, so to speak falling into place, what should investors be looking out for over the coming months from W Resources?
A3: If March was a busy quarter, June is also a very busy quarter. We’re targeting construction completion of the concentrator, this is the large scale concentrator capable of producing 200 tonnes per month of tungsten concentrate. We’re targeting construction completion in June and then we’ll move on to commissioning in July so that’ll be an important milestone.
In the September quarter, we’ll move up to a more steady state of operations and production and shareholders can expect to see steady production reporting.