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Blackheath to acquire two tungsten mines

Keywords: Tags  Blackheath, Portugal, tungsten, Borralha, Bejanca, Primary Metals, James Robertson, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Blackheath Resources Inc. has agreed to acquire two tungsten mines in northern Portugal.

The Borralha Mine was Portugal’s second-largest tungsten mine until its closure due to low tungsten prices in 1985. The Bejanca Mine was also operational until 1985, producing tungsten concentrates that were smelted on site into ferrotungsten as well as tin concentrates, according to a company statement.

“Tungsten is a critical metal, a strategic metal on most Western countries’ lists, and we think as things gradually improve in the future, tungsten will do well,” Blackheath president and chief executive officer James Robertson told AMM Thursday.

Under the agreement with Portuguese government entity Minerália Minas, Geotecnia e Construções Lda., Vancouver, British Columbia-based Blackheath has committed to spending a minimum of €980,000 ($1.28 million) on exploration at Borralha and €650,000 ($850,941) at Bejanca over five years, according to the statement.

The company will also pay Mineralia €25,000 ($32,729) upon execution of the agreement, €100,000 ($130,914) upon the grant of a preliminary exploration license, and €1 million ($1.31 million) upon the commencement of production and the granting of a final exploitation license.

“We expect to commence a preliminary drilling program on both projects at an early date following data compilation and review,” the company said.

While Blackheath is bullish on the long-term fundamentals of the market, AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin's ammonium paratungstate (APT) prices have fallen recently to between $280 and $310 per metric ton unit from $295 and $320 per mtu.

Blackheath also owns the Covas tungsten project in Portugal, and members of Blackheath management have previous experience in tungsten mining in the country through Primary Metals Inc., operator of the Panasqueira tungsten mine from 2003 to 2007, according to the statement.

Primary Metals was taken over by Japan’s Sojitz Corp. in 2007, according to Metal Bulletin.

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