The company noted that full-scale operations were put on hold in late March due to the Spanish State of Emergency amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shutdown, but these have since been lifted for mining operations.
In a production report for the first quarter, W Resources said that a total of 274,000 tonnes of run-of-mine ore was fed into the La Parrilla plant.
It noted that tungsten production (WO3) increased by 242% to 3,306 tonnes, and tin production rose by 207% to 12.1 tonnes. Additionally, combined contained metal (tin and tungsten) volumes increased by 232% to 45.2 tonnes.
A total of 48.8 tonnes of tungsten concentrate and 20.2 tonnes of tin concentrate was shipped to offtake partners, in the period to date since January, the group added.
The company described its mining costs and strip ratio as “remaining low and below the budgeted mine plan”.
As operations resume, the firm noted that the mine’s crusher and jig plants are now in full operation, and the concentrator plant is being restarted imminently, following new equipment installations.
“Production at La Parrilla is building, albeit not at the pace we had anticipated due to early-stage plant challenges having an impact on production levels for Q1 2020,” said Michael Masterman, W Resources chairman.
“The mining and processing operations expanded in Q1 2020 with key initiatives implemented including construction of a pre-concentrate stockpile area to allow continued operation of the concentrator plant when the jig or crusher plants are down, installation of deslime cyclones ahead of the fines circuit and a hydrosizer ahead of the shaking tables which are complete and operational.”
He added: “We are mindful that production levels are not where we or our stakeholders expected them to be, however, we are still very much in the early stages of the ramp-up and the team is well set to achieve significantly stronger results in the June quarter as a result of the improvement initiatives implemented in Q1.
“The increase in tungsten and tin production demonstrates progress in a very difficult external environment and we remain focussed on the works in hand and are confident of making the solid progress needed in order to reach design capacity."