The government of South Korea has issued Woulfe Mining permits to develop the 6-m x 6-m production adit for Woulfe’s Sangdong tungsten-molybdenum mine 187 km southeast of Seoul. The adit portal will be located less than 100 m from the planned crusher site and will access mineralization almost immediately inside the adit.
The Sangdong mine is a previous producer that operated at an average production rate of 600,000 mt/y for 40 years prior to 1992. Low metal prices, not the exhaustion of resources, led to the mine’s closure. Substantial underground infrastructure is in place, and Woulfe has opened the mine to a distance of 1.4 km from surface. Above ground infrastructure includes access to roads, water and power.
The new adit will facilitate the use of modern bulk mining equipment and will provide access to all three ore zones (Main, Hangingwall and Footwall) within the initial mining block in the upper 25% of the orebody, mostly above the valley floor. Wardrop has estimated resources for this area of 6 million mt, grading 0.42% WO3 indicated and 18.6 million mt grading 0.45% WO3 inferred.
Capital cost to develop the Sangdong project is estimated at $135 million for a 1.2-million-mt/y operation, including the processing plant and a bulk underground drift-and-fill mining operation. Indicated resources are sufficient to support five years of mining at this production rate. There is good potential to expand the indicated resource base in the near future based on a current drilling program.
About 78% of the Sangdong project capital cost is associated with the construction of the process plant, consisting of crushing, grinding, concentration and refining to produce ammonia paratungstate. The primary crushing equipment was purchased in 2010, and the design of the crushing and grinding areas has been completed. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2012.
Woulfe Mining is a Canadian junior company based in Vancouver.