HAZELWOOD Resources is seeking accreditation as a Conflict Free Smelter (CFS) for the production of ferrotungsten from its ATC Ferrotungsten Project at Vinh Bao. Following an audit conducted at the plant by EICC-GeSi last October, the company expected to receive a final decision by the end of April.
The independent audit was conducted by EICC-GeSi according to standards set in the ‘OECD Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas’. The audit reviewed the provenance of the tungsten concentrates for the immediate 12 months prior to the audit.
The audit found that there was no issue in regards to the origins of the tungsten concentrates used in the facility during that period.
Subsequent follow-up questions were addressed by Hazelwood and ATC in the lead-up to the final decision to be made by the EICC-GeSi.
ATC is training its staff, contractors and suppliers on the CFS guidelines and requirements. Hazelwood and ATC also continue to condemn all activities in the raw material sector connected to illegal or unlawful exploitation or ores that directly or indirectly finances or benefits armed groups in conflict areas.
ATC suspended ferrotungsten production and concentrate purchasing throughout the December quarter of 2014 in order to destock current inventories, preserve cash and avoid purchasing concentrates at elevated prices to predicted future market price.
This strategy, consistent with Hazelwood’s new approach of maximizing ATC profitability, appears to have been successful with the opportunity to purchase and negotiate on lower concentrate prices emerging in 2015.
During 2014 a total of 765 tonnes of ferrotungsten metal was produced from 1301 tonnes of tungsten concentrate. The tungsten concentrate was predominately wolframite. The average product grade was 78%, which was consistent across the year of production.
The period of non-production has provided the opportunity for ATC to complete construction of the reprocessing facility. This facility has been commissioned and will be used to reprocess material through the furnace to recover contained tungsten further improving plant recoveries to industry leading values.
Hazelwood is proceeding with a recapitalization plan which underpins its ability to execute the change management plan introduced by new executive chairman Mark Warren aimed at driving the company to profitability and provide a pipeline of further growth opportunities.
As such the company and Siderian Resources Capital have twice agreed to extend the early repayment date of the Siderian Debt Facility. It was first extended to March 31 and then to April 10.