Just three days after the first ferrotungsten was produced at Hazelwood Resources’ ATC Project in Vietnam, the company has hit design capacity of 16-18 tonnes per day.
The maiden production campaign will continue over the next week, with re-stocking of inventories in progress for the next production campaign.
Hazelwood’s managing director Terry Butler Blaxell says a combination of operator skill and experience, combined with a highly efficient furnace design has resulted in a remarkably expedient hot commissioning and first production run.“Our technology and operator skill has now been proven. The commissioning engineers, who have experience at other such operations have remarked on how rapidly the plant has been able to achieve production success.”
Assays for the first batch of product indicate a tungsten content of 77.3%, which compares favourably with the minimum saleable product specification of 70% tungsten content. The product will be packaged for first sales to be dispatched to the port of Haiphong by specialty metals trader Wogen Resources under a recently-signed sales agreement.
Representatives from Wogen have inspected the facilities in preparation for their first purchase of the ATC product, and also discussed production schedules and marketing strategies for the master alloy.
Wogen’s Pacific managing director Ross Sabberton says, “We congratulate Hazelwood and ATC on their commissioning success and the product quality they have achieved in their first production run. In our view this looks to be an important development in the supply of Ferrotungsten globally.”
Ferrotungsten is a master alloy, used in the production of high speed steels, tool steel and temperature-resistant alloys.
The ATC project was constructed under-budget and represents a capital-efficient entry into specialty metal production. It has the opportunity to launch into other downstream processing ventures and potential future vertical integration with Hazelwood’s advanced stage primary tungsten projects in Western Australia.
Big Hill is an advanced project with an open pittable, 12-year JORC-compliant ore reserve and is capable of producing an exceptionally pure tungsten feedstock. Hazelwood also has a 70% interest in the Mt Mulgine Project in Western Australia which hosts a near-surface JORC mineral resource.
Hazelwood also has significant exposure to nickel sulphides and base metals through its Cookes Creek and Copper Gorge areas in the East Pilbara of Western Australia. Significant nickel sulphides have been intersected in drilling at Cookes Creek and there are numerous geophysical and geochemical targets over a strike extent of more than 20km that are yet to be drill tested.