Construction activities at the Barruecopardo tungsten project, in Spain, have begun to wind down and mine commissioning activities are ramping up significantly, in line with a previously guided timeline of starting production in early February.
London-listed Ormonde Mining reported on Friday that the construction of the turnkey crush and screen plant was completed in September, with ‘cold’ commissioning completed during October and ‘hot’ commissioning currently ongoing.
Commissioning of the process plant has also started, following the recruitment and training of plant operators, together with significant advancements in plant construction.
Commissioning of the water treatment plant has been completed and the plant has been handed over to the site team. Ormonde said that dewatering of the historic openpit was in progress, with 100 750 m3 of the historic pit waters pumped out for treatment and use in the process plant. At the end of November, about 185 000 m3 of water was held within the water dams.
In addition, mains power has been connected and the site laboratory is operational.
The current commissioning plan sees first production of tungsten from early February 2019, and the construction costs remain in the project’s budget of €53.6-million.
The initial nine-year openpit mine will produce 260 000 metric tonne units of tungsten trioxide at steady state.