VIETNAM – Toronto-based TIBERON MINERALS wants to become the world’s largest primary tungsten producer with the opening of its Nui Phao mine in 2008. The dream is a step closer to reality now that the company has received a 30-year mining licence for the deposit. This is the last major permit the company needed before starting construction.
The project is located 80 km northwest of Hanoi and 150 km from the Chinese border. Tiberon (77.5%) and its Vietnamese joint venture partners will build a conventional open pit and a mineral processing plant with both flotation and gravity circuits. Total capital cost of development is estimated at US$211 million. Annual concentrate production is projected to average 4,319 tonnes of tungsten plus 222,680 tonnes of fluorspar, 5,531 tonnes of copper, 2,950 oz of gold and 912 tonnes of bismuth.
To date, a proven and probable ore reserve of 53.1 million tonnes has been delineated. The deposit itself is flat-lying, and potential exists to increase the current mine life through the conversion of 27.4 million tonnes of inferred resources into proven and probable reserves. The deposit has been defined over a 1.7-km strike length and a width greater than 400 m; it remains open to the west.
Last month Tiberon announced that it had signed two tungsten offtake contracts that could amount to US$1.2 billion in revenues over 15 years. The company’s website is at www.Tiberon.com.