YUKON TERRITORY - Vancouver-based NORTH AMERICAN TUNGSTEN CORP. is reopening its 100%-owned Cantung mine with concentrate production expected in August 2005. At that time the mine and mill, at a rate of 400,000 tonnes of concentrate annually, will again be the western world's largest producer of tungsten concentrate.
Denis Bergen, P.Eng., was hired earlier this month as general manager at the Cantung mine. He is a graduate of British Columbia Institute of Technology (mining technology 1972) and the University of British Columbia (BAS, mineral engineering 1979). From 1987 to 1993 he was employed by Canada Tungsten Mining Corp., the previous owner of the Cantung mine. Bergen has been the manager at both the Ketza River mine in the Yukon and the Golden Bear mine in B.C. From 1997 to the end of 2003 he was VP operations for Wheaton River Minerals.
NA Tungsten says record high prices for tungsten are behind the decision to reopen the mine. It has been operated sporadically since 1962, with the last closing of the underground working in 2003. At that time there was an estimated 700,000 tonnes of "minable reserves" grading 1.75% WO3.
The company also has a 100%-interest in the Mactung deposit farther north. A conceptual engineering study was completed in the mid-1980s based on "reserves and resources" of 45 million tonnes grading 0.95% WO3.