Blackheath Resources (BHR.V) is a mining exploration and development company that is advancing the past-producing Covas tungsten project in northern Portugal.
Blackheath also recently acquired options for 100% interests in the past-producing Borralha tungsten project and the past-producing Bejanca tungsten/tin project, both located in northern Portugal.
To get the last updates and increased insight, we interviewed President Alexander Langer.
Your resource estimate at Covas came in above our expectations, congratulations. You were able exceed your historical resource by 70%. What’s the next step – exploration wise- at Covas?
Thanks for your congratulations on the Covas resource estimate. It has taken some time but we are very pleased with the outcome. Although we are not allowed to report a combined Indicated and Inferred resource, you are correct in the statement that we have improved the total tungsten in the ground by over 70% from that of the historical estimate, and that improvement is with capped assays for 19 of the drill holes.
Our next steps at Covas are to push forward with another small round of drilling, but most importantly to get on with scoping and engineering studies.
How does the average grade at Covas compare to other open pittable tungsten projects in the world?
It’s definitely the highest grade in Europe and one of the highest in the world from what we can find comparing to other reported deposits. We also feel that the grade can be increased relatively easily with the next round of drilling. We have recently identified a series of 7 historical drill holes surrounding and including one of the smaller open pits with absolutely stellar grades. Most of this material has likely been mined, but the area around and below this open pit could contain some very high grade material.
At what grade were the drill intercepts capped and what would the influence have been on the total amount of mtu and average grade if the grade cap wouldn’t apply?
The exact numbers will be reported in the upcoming Technical Report for Covas, but if the engineer had not capped the high grade holes the resources (and grades) would have been even higher… an additional 400,000 + MTU’s!
Will you be fast enough to take advantage of the experimental exploitation license at Covas?
That’s definitely the plan. Just to quickly remind your readers, the Experimental Exploitation Licence, which was granted by the Portuguese Federal Government, allows us to begin test mining, bulk sampling for metallurgical testing, and other work such as drilling and environmental studies. That permit was granted in August, 2013 and is valid for 3 years. However, the permit is extendable for a further 2 years, before we need to apply for a full Exploitation Licence.
One of the advantages we do have is the amount of support we receive from the Portuguese Government. There is a clear and concise mining law and the permitting process is clear and logically laid out. From beginning to end, you can expect to receive your permits in approximately 6 months, as long as your application is completed thoroughly and properly.
You are currently raising cash at a substantial premium to the share price. Can you elaborate a bit about those investors and what they are eyeing?
We have been quite fortunate to have raised funds in these difficult markets; let alone at almost a 100% premium to the current market price. It really is a testament to the strength of our projects and of our management team. I remember during out last interview we discussed the possibility of finding a strategic funding partner for Blackheath and I’m proud to say we’ve been able to achieve that goal in less than a year. 100% premium might be hard to replicate again, but what’s been great about our partners is that they understand the importance of minimizing shareholder dilution. Their interest in Blackheath is 100% financial and their vision is in line with managements; where the goal of the company is to maximize shareholder return. As we continue to achieve our goals and generate success, we will all benefit equally.
At Borralha, your drill results came in better than we were expecting and hoping for. We are mainly positively surprised by the width of the intercepts and it now looks like Borralha could be a huge bulk tonnage tungsten operation. From our research you have the highest grade x width intercept ever recorded for wolframite tungsten mineralization in the world! You stated you will need to complete one more drill program before being in a position to calculate a maiden resource estimate. What will the scope of this drill program be?
We were absolutely blown away with the results at Borralha. We have a massive mineralized structure which is open and appears to be growing in size in every direction, including depth. The scope of the next drill program will be to try and test the eastern limits of the breccia and to infill the higher grade trend that appears to run through the middle of the breccia. We will announce the full scope of work shortly.
What would be your exploration target at Borralha right now? We’re ending up with 35-40Mt of mineralized material. At 0.2% WO3 this would be 7-8M mtu.
That’s not a bad target. We would be extremely comfortable with that grade and size, but in talking to some of the former employees at Borralha, including the former Chief Geologist, who now is a consultant in Portugal, we could be looking at something substantial bigger! But we will need more drilling to confirm that of course.
Disclosure: Blackheath Resources is a sponsor of the website. We hold a long position. Please see our disclaimer for current positions.