Tuesday, December 23, 2008

North American Tungsten becomes a vertically integrated tungsten producer

North American Tungsten Corp. Ltd. has concluded a series of strategic agreements to produce and market commercial tungsten products manufactured from its tungsten concentrate at its mining operations. The transactions are a result of three years of North American Tungsten's involvement with Tundra Particle Technologies (TPT) at a pilot plant in Minnesota that has developed and tested patented techniques to produce tungsten powders and intermediates from low-grade concentrates.

In addition, TPT's sister company, Tundra Composites ("TC") has developed a patented process for manufacturing tungsten composites for sale worldwide. Based on the Company's involvement with TPT, NTC has been granted access to this process through a licensing agreement with TC.

As North American Tungsten's Chairman and CEO, Stephen Leahy, noted, "The success of our involvement with TPT has enabled us to move our output up the value chain, broadening our company from a producer of tungsten concentrate into a supplier of valued-added products intended for a 21st Century marketplace. The TPT patented conversion process can utilize a much lower grade of tungsten concentrate than today's other tungsten processors require. North American Tungsten will have a significant outlet for lower grade concentrate.

"This whole concept of our involvement in new material processing options and participation in this new high tech tungsten composite business has been a long time in coming. The ability of the Company to provide low grade flotation concentrate at market pricing will not only position NTC at the forefront of new markets for tungsten, but will also provide new outlets for our low grade tungsten concentrate production well into the future."

Under the recent development agreements, a new company, Tundra Diversified Industries LLC ("TDI") has been formed. This new company will consist of three Strategic partners; Tundra Particle Technologies, LLC, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, will match North American Tungsten's own 43.2% interest; and Queenwood Capital Partners LLC, of Bloomington, Minnesota will own 13.6%. Each of the shareholders will be represented on TDI's board of governors, and each brings a particular interest to TDI that will be important to its success.

In addition, TDI is in the process of entering into a supply agreement with Fiocchi Ammunition to sell TUNDRA(TM) tungsten-polymer composite. TDI and Fiocchi intend to initiate the manufacture and sale of TUNDRA(TM) tungsten-polymer composites into the ballistics marketplace in the 1st quarter of 2009. This composite material will allow for immediate access to the exciting new lead replacement market with a material that is non-toxic, has the malleability of lead, and can be manufactured to a density that exceeds that of lead and bismuth.

As Mr. Leahy stated, "This is a historic launch of a revolutionary material that I believe will soon become the fastest growing segment of the tungsten market and will complete our objective of becoming a vertically integrated tungsten producer."

And Mr. Heikkila added: "This venture will provide an integrated approach to the ballistics industry of a secure supply of tungsten, custom and proprietary powders and unique composite products for superior products which are environmentally friendly."

- Part of the TUNDRA(TM) group of Minnesota-based companies, Tundra Particle Technologies is engaged in the production, sale and licensing of highly filled composites for various industries and applications. TUNDRA(TM) has granted Tungsten Diversified an exclusive license to manufacture and sell the patented TUNDRA(TM) tungsten-polymer composite as a lead replacement alternative for ammunition. This license allows TDI to sell TUNDRA(TM) composite to the military in North America and the European Union, as well as the sporting market in the European Union. Tundra Particle Technologies will be represented on TDI's board by its principal Kurt Heikkila.

- Queenwood Capital is a private investment firm located in Bloomington, Minnesota. Its chairman, Ronald Erickson, recently joined North American Tungsten's board of directors and will also represent Queenwood on TDI's board. Among his business activities, Mr. Erickson is vice chairman of the board of Gander Mountain, a chain of 115 sporting goods stores in the United States which has been marketing tungsten products as lead replacements in a number of consumer products, especially to hunters and sports fishermen. Queenwood has invested US$2.5 million to purchase its interest in TDI.

- North American Tungsten is the Western World's largest producer of tungsten concentrate, a strategic industrial metal required in a wide variety of products ranging from jet turbine engines and high-speed cutting tools to electronic circuitry and surgical instruments. The company will provide TDI with access to tungsten material at market driven prices for its future processing and manufacturing needs. Under a five-year supply agreement, renewable for an additional five years, North American Tungsten will initially supply 22,500 metric tonne units (MTU's) of tungsten concentrates, increasing the annual supply to 225,000 MTU's by 2013. The supply agreement with TDI complements others that North American Tungsten has concluded, including a recent, 125,000 MTU deal with Global Tungsten and Powders Corp. Stephen Leahy will represent North American Tungsten on the TDI board.

For Further details see NTC

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