Tungsten, tin: Rafaella Resources acquires Santa Comba project in Spain

Santa Comba project

Australian-listed exploration company Rafaella Resources has acquired Galicia Tin & Tungsten, whose assets include the Santa Comba project in Galicia, Spain, from Biscay Minerals and Ulex Recursos.

Rafaella has an offtake agreement from leading German tungsten refiner H.C. Starck and an associated offer of 100% project debt financing from the German government, subject to completion of a positive feasibility study including a mineral reserve of at least 7kt contained WO3.

Roskill View

As with a number of western tungsten projects under development, Santa Comba is a past-producing mine that closed during the 1980s as a result of the fall in tungsten prices during the period that China emerged as a new commodities powerhouse.

In 2012, Mineiro Santa Comba Group acquired the mining rights and commenced construction of a new processing plant, which was estimated to be 70% complete when the firm went into administration. GTT acquired the Santa Comba assets in May 2015.

The backing of H.C. Starck and the German government is a boon for Santa Comba, with a number of other projects under development still requiring offtake and financing agreements. Rafaella will now begin the all-important work to upgrade the inferred resource and carry out a feasibility study, a precursor to accessing the financing.

Roskill’s Tungsten: Market Outlook to 2028 report was published in March 2019. The first quarterly update for subscribers will be published this month.