VIETNAM – Hazelwood initiates ATC plan

Hazelwood Resources is initiating a plan to drive operational efficiencies and increase profitability at its ATC ferrotungsten plant in Vietnam. The plan is the result of a strategic review Hazelwood undertook when new executive chairman Mark Warren joined the board in September 2014.

The company has become a major player in the non-China tungsten and ferrotungsten market since commissioning of its ferrotungsten operations in Vietnam in 2013.

The first part of the plan is to improve the operational efficiency and profitability of Hazelwood’s 60%-owned ATC operations in Vietnam. In the first 18 months of operation, the ferrotungsten operation in Vinh Bao has proved it can consistently produce high quality ferrotungsten from a range of variable quality feedstock. The technical ramp-up and performance has exceeded expectations in this regard.

The company is now focused on improving profitability through lower cost operations and improved operating flexibility for changing market conditions.

Part two involves Hazelwood investigating additional add-on business unit opportunities around its Vietnamese manufacturing base with its joint venture partner. These opportunities could expand its offering of complimentary tungsten products to clients and cement its position as a significant global manufacturer in the international tungsten industry.

Based on preliminary investigations, the company and its joint venture partner see potential to significantly improve profitability and diversify its revenue stream through synergies offered by some of these business opportunities.

“On the basis of my understanding and review of the business and the broader market, I firmly believe that Hazelwood owns a globally significant tungsten resource base and has developed a unique ferrotungsten refining facility in Vietnam with our joint venture partner George Chen, an industry leader in his own right,” Mark Warren says.

“We have become a global presence in the specialty metals business distributing quality product to steelmakers and specialty alloy producers world-wide.”

Part three will see Hazelwood accelerate the study of its upstream Australian tungsten projects at Mt Mulgine and Big Hill to a decision point on their development. With further resource upgrades expected soon from Mt Mulgine, it expects the large-scale project to provide the best opportunity to be developed as a low cost tungsten mine and concentrator due to the tungsten resource being close to surface with increasing grade at depth. Mt Mulgine also benefits from being in a location that has good proximity to services.

The fourth part will see that company seek to establish a small and dynamic corporate team with the experience and qualifications to drive operational improvement and evaluate the range of value adding opportunities the company plans to pursue.

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