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North American Tungsten posts smaller loss

Keywords: Tags  North American Tungsten, tungsten prices, 2012 earnings, Cantung Mine, Stephen Leahy, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — North American Tungsten Corp. Ltd. posted a Canadian $9.84-million ($9.78-million) net loss for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, a 36.4-percent improvement from a C$15.48-million loss the previous year.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company recorded sales of C$107.52 million ($106.86 million), a 93.2-percent increase from C$55.65 million the previous year, despite lower second-half tungsten demand and prices.

The results included a C$16.2-million ($16.1 million) non-cash impairment charge for the write-down of assets.

North American Tungsten said that lower demand during 2012 caused ammonium paratungstate (APT) quotations to fall to around $300 per metric ton unit from 2011’s historic highs of more than $450 per metric ton unit.

"Although tungsten prices in the second half of the year were lower, investments made and actions taken delivered on our goal of developing an industry-leading tungsten mining and processing operation," chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Leahy said in a statement.

The company said it expects price quotations and product demand to improve during the 2013 calendar year, and it has entered into agreements to sell most of its anticipated fiscal 2013 production at prices tied to APT market prices.

The company’s tungsten concentrate production rose 21.5 percent to 272,586 metric ton units in fiscal 2012 from 224,279 metric ton units the previous year, while copper sales soared to 806,843 pounds from 278,977 pounds in the same comparison.

In addition, average metallurgical recovery reached 76.9 percent for the year, up from 75.3 percent in 2011, while total ore milled increased to 338,726 tonnes from 321,699 tonnes.

The company outlined capital expenditures of C$25.2 million ($25 million) to support long-term operations at its Cantung Mine in the Northwest Territories. "We believe there is significant potential to extend the life of the Cantung Mine through underground development, surface exploration and the tailings pond recovery project," Leahy said.

Mine developments, which included the area below the 3,700-foot level, opened access to new zones, which will facilitate underground exploration, the company said. "Exploration in and around the open pit is promising and may add low-cost tonnage."

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