Healthcare Business Todayhttps://www.healthcarebusinesstoday.com/ has published an article written by Almonty Industries’ CEO Lewis Black, titled ‘New Production Sources of Tungsten Are Critical to Maintaining Healthcare Industry Supply‘.

Article by Lewis Black,  Healthcare Business Today: The trade relations between China and the U.S. have been tense over the last few years. This past January, China and the U.S. signed a “phase one” trade deal, where China agreed to buy an additional $200 billion of American goods and services over the following two years. This deal resulted in the suspension of a planned tariff last December on approximately $162 billion worth of Chinese goods, with an existing 15% duty on imports worth around $110 billion halved.

While the tariffs affect many different types of goods that are imported and exported between the two countries, there is another battle brewing in this growing trade war: Strategic Metals. Rare specialty metals such as tungsten are used in almost all medical devices and medical manufacturing supplies today. Taking into consideration the current COVID-19 pandemic, access to medical manufacturing and supplies is more critical than ever before. Tungsten is listed as the most high risk metal on earth, and is also used in most medical devices and tests we have today. Without it, it would be impossible to run a test as simple as an X-Ray.

China Has Dominated the Medical Supply Chain

For years, China has viewed its dominance in strategic earth metals as potential leverage that can be used against the U.S., which include trade disputes. Research firms and industry observers1 believe China values its strategic metals dominance for geopolitical values over commercial gain.

Rare specialty metals such as tungsten are used for a variety of advanced technologies within the medical industry, including radiation shielding and medical isotope transport and containment.  Without tungsten, hospitals would run out of necessary everyday objects such as syringe shields and radioactive source containers. 

According to a report2 by consulting firm Horizon Advisory, China cultivated its rare-earth industry through years of state subsidies and is prepared to use it as a geopolitical weapon, which will drastically affect medical supplies in the United States, causing a healthcare crisis. A test as simple as an x-ray could not be performed without tungsten. 

China controls the market for nearly 35 precious minerals and metals that are important to the U.S. for medical manufacturing, and tungsten is among them. Furthermore, the second largest tungsten supplier, located in Vietnam, had sourced 6 million metric tons last year. Other regions outside of the U.S. such as Russia, Austria and the United Kingdom are also known to have important tungsten sources.

China Has Dominated the Medical Supply Chain

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The issue at hand is that China has limited the amount of tungsten exports that can be shipped to the U.S., and this has caused great concern about the overall supply chain of the material, specifically in a time where the United States is dependent on its healthcare system. 

In what was seen as an aggressive move, Chinese President Xi Jinping toured a region of the country last year that bills itself as a rare-earths kingdom, and this rhetoric3 was widely viewed as China strong-arming much of the rest of the world and flexing its muscle for strategic metals supply.

What’s at stake is a more bountiful supply chain of strategic metals such as tungsten. To combat this, the U.S. Defense Department is starting a new grants program to help develop a processing facility at Mountain Pass in California, currently the only U.S. located mine for rare-earths materials. However, U.S. medical manufacturers need more supply, and soon.

New Tungsten Production Will Open the Global Supply Chain

Other new entrants into the market have begun mining projects throughout the world that are mining for tungsten. These efforts are critically important to increase supply levels and exports back to the U.S., which will benefit the overall global supply chain of tungsten for production and manufacturing and would enable the U.S. to depend on its own medical manufacturing supply. 

The Korea Tungsten project located in the Sangdong Mine of South Korea hosts one of the largest tungsten resources in the world. This mine was the leading global tungsten producer for more than 40 years and it has the potential to produce 50% of the non-Chinese world’s tungsten supply. The project has become a center of focus recently for resource experts, miners, investors, shareholders, and other interested parties around the globe.

Without access to rare-earths such as Tungsten found in locations such as the Sangdong Mine, the consequences of a continued strained supply of these metals would be disastrous to the U.S. healthcare system, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, opening the supply chain for these rare-earths will help alleviate any medical supply threats that continue to grow from China and its long-held dominance of the market.

Hopefully, the Sangdong Mine is one example of relief U.S. and global medical manufacturers will see from the mining and production of tungsten in an effort to ease the supply chain of this precious raw material, which is sorely needed for some of today’s most important healthcare uses. 

About Almonty

The principal business of Toronto, Canada-based Almonty Industries Inc. is the mining, processing and shipping of tungsten concentrate from its Los Santos Mine in western Spain and its Panasqueira mine in Portugal as well as the development of its Sangdong tungsten mine in Gangwon Province, South Korea and the development of the Valtreixal tin/tungsten project in north western Spain.

The Los Santos Mine was acquired by Almonty in September 2011 and is located approximately 50 kilometres from Salamanca in western Spain and produces tungsten concentrate. The Panasqueira mine, which has been in production since 1896, is located approximately 260 kilometres northeast of Lisbon, Portugal, was acquired in January 2016 and produces tungsten concentrate.

The Sangdong mine, which was historically one of the largest tungsten mines in the world and one of the few long-life, high-grade tungsten deposits outside of China, was acquired in September 2015 through the acquisition of a 100% interest in Woulfe Mining Corp.

Almonty owns 100% of the Valtreixal tin-tungsten project in north-western Spain.

Further information about Almonty’s activities may be found at www.almonty.com and under Almonty’s profile at www.sedar.com.

Legal Notice

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law and therefore persons in such jurisdictions into which this announcement is released, published or distributed should inform themselves about and observe such restrictions.

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Statements

When used in this press release, the words “estimate”, “project”, “belief”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “plan”, “predict”, “may” or “should” and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. These statements and information are based on management’s beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and reflect Almonty’s current expectations.

Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the expected use of proceeds of the Debenture Offering. The forward-looking statements and information in this press release include information relating to the intentions of management. Such statements and information reflect the current view of Almonty with respect to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to vary. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Almonty to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the receipt of all required approvals, unanticipated costs and expenses, general market and industry conditions and perational
risks, including large project risk and contractual factors, any specific risks relating to fluctuations in the price of ammonium para tungstate (“APT”) from which the sale price of Almonty’s tungsten concentrate is derived, actual results of mining and exploration activities, environmental, economic and political risks of the jurisdictions in which Almonty’s operations are located and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, forecasts and assessments relating to Almonty’s business, credit and liquidity risks, hedging risk, competition in the mining industry, risks related to the market price of Almonty’s shares, the ability of Almonty to retain key management employees or procure the services of skilled and experienced personnel, risks related to claims and legal proceedings against Almonty and any of its operating mines, risks relating to unknown defects and impairments, risks related to the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, risks related to governmental regulations, including environmental regulations, risks related to international  operations of Almonty, risks relating to exploration, development and operations at Almonty’s tungsten mines, the ability of Almonty to obtain and maintain necessary permits, the ability of Almonty to comply with applicable laws, regulations and permitting requirements, lack of suitable infrastructure and employees to support Almonty’s mining operations, uncertainty in the accuracy of mineral reserves and mineral resources estimates, production estimates from Almonty’s mining operations, inability to replace and expand mineral reserves, uncertainties related to title and indigenous rights with respect to mineral properties owned directly or indirectly by Almonty, challenges related to global financial conditions, risks related to future sales or issuance of equity securities, differences in the interpretation or application of tax laws and regulations or accounting policies and rules of the TSX.

Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable, including but not limited to, the receipt of all required final approvals, no unanticipated delays in the project financing, no material unanticipated costs and expenses, no material adverse change in general market and industry conditions and no unanticipated material operational risks, including large project risk and contractual factors, no material adverse change in the market price of APT, the continuing ability to fund or obtain funding for outstanding commitments, expectations regarding the resolution of legal and tax matters, no negative change to applicable laws, the ability to secure local contractors, employees and assistance as and when required and on reasonable terms, and such other assumptions and factors as are set out herein. Although Almonty has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results, level of activity, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate and even if events or results described in the forward-looking statements are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Almonty. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and are cautioned that actual outcomes may vary.

Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements. Almonty cautions that the foregoing list of material factors is not exhaustive. When relying on Almonty’s forward-looking statements and information to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events.

Almonty has also assumed that material factors will not cause any forward-looking statements and information to differ materially from actual results or events. However, the list of these factors is not exhaustive and is subject to change and there can be no assurance that such assumptions will reflect the actual outcome of such items or factors.

THE FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PRESS RELEASE REPRESENTS THE EXPECTATIONS OF ALMONTY AS OF THE DATE OF THIS PRESS RELEASE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER SUCH DATE. READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE IMPORTANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY UPON THIS INFORMATION AS OF ANY OTHER DATE. WHILE ALMONTY MAY ELECT TO DO SO, IT DOES NOT UNDERTAKE TO UPDATE THIS INFORMATION AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME EXCEPT AS REQUIRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS. 

For further information, please contact:

Lewis Black
Chairman, President and CEO
Telephone: +1 647-438-9766
E-mail: info@almonty.com

The head office of Almonty is:

100 King Street West
Suite 5700
Toronto, Ontario
M5X 1C7