THE BOURSE WHISPERER: ASX and AIM-listed specialty metal exploration and development company Wolf Minerals has received formal United Kingdom Government support for the development of its Hemerdon Tungsten and Tin project in Devon, in Southwest England.
Location of the Hemerdon project. Source: Company
The support came directly from the UK Minister of State for Trade, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, and represents an acknowledgement of the importance of the Hemerdon project to the local community and to the UK and wider EU.
The Minister wrote to Wolf outlining his support to the company following its successful completion of planning consents for the development of the Hemerdon project.
“This is an important project for a number of reasons; to the local community in terms of jobs and wealth creation and to the UK and wider EU in securing supplies of tungsten,” Lord Green wrote.
“I am aware that tungsten ranks highly in both the British Geological Society and EU’s critical raw materials lists and that it has unique properties that are impossible to replace in certain specialised industrial applications.”
The UK Government support for the development of Hemerdon comes after Wolf’s announcement in December 2011 that it had approved credit approval for £55 million (AUD$81.8 million) in senior debt finance facilities to fund the commercial development of the project, and that it had received all relevant planning permissions for the Hemerdon link road and had appointed contractors to construct the road.
“Support from the UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment is extremely welcome as we seek to build a new operating tungsten mine in the South West of England,” Wolf Minerals chief executive officer Humphrey Hale said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The £55 million debt funding Wolf is seeking to secure supports the planned construction of the Hemerdon project, based on the Definitive Feasibility Study completed in May 2011.
“The provision of the senior debt finance facilities is now subject to completion of the project finance documentation and the usual credit approvals and conditions precedent customary for a financing of this nature.
“The current timetable is for the lenders to obtain credit approval for the facilities this February.”
Wolf said it is also in discussions with potential off-take partners to provide subordinated debt.
The total debt facilities will enable Wolf to minimise the equity component of the funding package required to put the Hemerdon project into production.