Thursday, January 29, 2009


Mr. Stephen Leahy reports


North American Tungsten Corp. Ltd. has released its annual financial statements for the period ending September 30, 2008. Net production was 272,483 mtu's with an average grade of 1.03% WO3 and recovery of 73.5% (compared to 2007: 286,031 mtu's, average grade 1.16% WO3 and recovery 74.1%).

The full financial statements and MD&A report can be downloaded from the company website under the "investor" tab and SEDAR

Annual Highlights

- Quarterly production showed significant improvements in the second half of the year:

-- Q1 65,297 mtu's

-- Q2 57,660 mtu's

-- Q3 73,893 mtu's

-- Q4 75,633 mtu's

- The Mactung feasibility study was brought close to completion.

- Tons milled at Cantung increased 8.4% over fiscal 2007 to 398,845 tons, production decreased from 286,031 MTUS in 2007 to 272,483 mtu's in 2008.

- Tungsten sales revenues were $56.0 million compared to $59.2 million in 2007.

- Tungsten business expanded into value added tolling including ammonium paratungstate and tungsten blue oxide.

- The net loss was $11.7 million in 2008 compared to a net loss of $1.2 million in 2007.

- Net proceeds from capital stock issuances were $4.8 million.

- New and expanded short term loan facilities total $8.6 million.

- $9.9 million was invested in property plant and equipment and mineral properties in 2008 (Cantung $2.9, US Plant $0.2, US Deferred Development $0.8 million and Mactung $5.9).

- Year end working capital was $0.7 million compared to $12.6 million in 2007.

- Forward integration into tungsten powders and composites is proceeding as from December 2008 through the 43.2% interest in TDI.

Updated Reserves at Cantung Mine

The Company is also pleased to announce the completion of a report on updated reserves and resources for the Cantung Mine. The full report can be downloaded from SEDAR


Mineral Resources for the Cantung Mine, as of September 30, 2008, are listed below in Table 1.

 TABLE 1 CANTUNG INDICATED MINERAL RESOURCES    Zone                                Tons   Grade (WO3 %)     STU'S  ------------------------------------------------------------------  West Extension                   250,053           1.05    262,859  West Extension Below 3700 elv.   231,011           1.24    287,136  E-Zone                            48,748           1.23     59,940  Shop Zone                          8,155           0.70      5,709  Main Zone Pillars                184,203           1.43    263,641  Central Flats                    159,395           1.23    195,573  South Flats                       71,021           1.42    100,662  ------------------------------------------------------------------  Stockpile                          9,091           0.62      5,636  ------------------------------------------------------------------  TOTAL Indicated Resources        961,677           1.23  1,181,156    Zone                                Tons   Grade (WO3 %)     STU'S  ------------------------------------------------------------------  Pit-PUG Total                    468,606            1.3    609,188  ------------------------------------------------------------------  Grand Total                    1,430,283           1.25  1,790,344    Notes:  1. Mineral Resources conform to CIM and NI43-101 requirements.  2. Mineral Resources are estimated at a cutoff grade of 0.8% WO3  for underground as well as Pit and Pug.  3. All Mineral Resources are listed as INDICATED.

Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves; excess resources may at some time in the future become reserves, however, at present they cannot be included in the estimate of Mineral Reserves. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The Mineral Reserves include material for which there is a mining plan, and at least a conceptual design. Mineral Reserves for the Cantung Mine, as of September 30, 2008, are summarized in Table 2 below.

 TABLE 2 CANTUNG PROBABLE MINERAL RESERVES  ------------------------------------------------------------------  Cantung Probable Mineral Reserves    Zone                                Tons   Grade (WO3 %)     STU'S    West Extension                   163,087           1.09    177,654  West Extension Below 3700 elv.   148,449           1.06    157,148  E-Zone                            20,505           1.37     28,175  Shop Zone                          8,155           0.70      5,709  Main Zone Pillars                246,523           1.14    282,085  Central Flats                     59,896           1.09     65,062  Stockpile                          9,091           0.62      5,660  TOTAL Probable Reserves          655,706           1.10    721,492  ------------------------------------------------------------------  Notes:  1. Mineral Reserves conform to CIM and NI43-101 requirements.  2. All Mineral Reserves are classified as Probable.  3. Mineral Reserves are estimated at a cutoff grade of 0.80% WO3.  4. A minimum mining width of 15 feet was used.     NTC notes that some mining zone nomenclature may cause confusion for those  unfamiliar with the Cantung deposits. The E-Zone refers both to the entire  underground orebody, and also to the few remaining stopes that do not fit  into a subzone category such as Main, South Flats, or West Extension.

Qualified Persons

J. Britt Reid, P.Eng. the Company's COO and a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101 has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure contained in the news release.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Even your local corn Farmer uses Tungsten


The 2-in-1 Series 4000 unit from CrustBuster easily converts from a 30' no-till drill to a 12-row 30" corn planter.

The Series 4000 is available with optional seed placement of 7.5" with 48 openers or 10" with 36 openers. The 4000 is equipped with Precision seed tubes with tungsten carbide tips that eliminates seed bounce and excessive wear. Additional features include the Precision seed meter designed to give maximum precision and a planter style seed count sensor with cab monitor that reads the seed flow and count.

For more information phone 620-227-7106; website


Friday, January 23, 2009

A tungsten treat

DARTS champions with more than 1,500 titles to their names are to take to the oche in Tamworth.

Eric Bristow, Bobby George and John Lowe, alongside presenter Duncan 'Chase Me' Norvelle, will perform at the Tamworth Assembly Rooms at 7.30pm on Thursday, February 5.

Spectators can hear stories from the players, listen to comedy from Norvelle and revel in the darting skills of the tungsten-throwing trio.

Tickets cost £15 or £14 concessions and are available from Tamworth Tourist Information Centre or on 01827 709618. More information is available at

Hunters endorse the use of Tungsten and special hybrid shot

By Jim Brewer For the News & Messenger

A fellow named Chesley Sullenberger went goose hunting last week in New York near the Hudson River. He used an Airbus A320 made for US Airways. He had a decent day. I think he got at least two. But there is an easier way to kill geese. Personally, I recommend shotguns.
When I first heard of the collision that sent several geese zooming through the jet engines of Sullenbrger's aircraft, I assumed that at 1,700 feet these were not resident geese, the pests that have taken over much of the eastern seaboard. Rather, they were undoubtedly migratory birds to be flying at that altitude. So barking dogs and scare crows which shoo away the local geese would not have had any effect on the unfortunate collision. It was just an unavoidable accident.
I also wondered exactly where the geese had come from. I used to think that geese and ducks flew more or less in a north/south direction when migrating. But that's not always the case.
Much of our waterfowl that flies over or lands in Virginia comes from the Midwest, as far as the Dakotas. My hunch is that the really cold air that came down from Canada about 2 weeks ago was responsible for moving the flock of birds that Sullenberger encountered. What a job he did landing that plane, by the way. Amazing.
The goose season – shotguns, not airplanes – is in full force here in the Commonwealth. In the Western Zone (west of I-95) hunters can bag five birds a day from now through February 14th. East of I-95, an area called the Atlantic Population Zone, the season ends January 24 and the limit is two birds per day. The duck season, by the way, ends January 24th statewide.
The US Fish & Wildlife officials have been generous with recent bag limits as they attempt to use hunters to thin an expanding population of resident geese, which are said to be entirely different birds than migratory Canada geese, Biologists say that migratory birds are a bit smaller, but otherwise look exactly the same, and their numbers are finally stabilizing after being threatened almost to the point of extinction.
The resident population, on the other hand, is made up of a bunch of homebodies. Geese that like to stay in one area. I don't have evidence to back me up on this, but the trend to warmer winters over the past 15 or 20 years may be a contributing factor. Local geese don't really need to fly anywhere. The weather has been mild and there are grain fields galore.
But the climate is getting colder, at least for the past two years. Perhaps that will push a few of our resident birds further south. We'll see.
To contain the geese, we really need more hunters, but many who shoot deer don't bother with geese. I guess it's the pain in the hunting pants factor. Goose hunting generally requires decoys, calls, blinds, a wallet full of licenses and special ammunition.
It's too bad because goose hunting is a great sport, the birds are delightful to eat when prepared properly and we need to radically reduce their numbers.
For those hunters who will be climbing into a goose blind in the next few weeks, I really encourage the use of Tungsten and special hybrid shot. As water fowlers know, non-toxic shot is required for ducks and geese, and most hunters use steel, primarily because it is less expensive. A box of 25 steel shotgun shells is roughly $25. A box of the new "Heavy Shot" can cost $30 or more for a box of 10.
But we don't shoot that many shells on a goose hunt. I would be ecstatic to know that I would get 5 or 6 shots, and that's only about $20. I spend more than twice that on a round of golf, not counting lost balls.
Steel shot is worthless in my opinion. It doesn't hold a pattern; it loses velocity rapidly; it has no clout for body shots; and the distance is severely limited.
The new hybrid shot, it's said, is as heavy as lead and does everything that steel won't do. Of course, if everyone shot a goose in the head and neck at 25 yards, there would be no reason not to use steel. But that doesn't happen often.
Geese fly much faster that you think, and most hunters don't lead the birds adequately. Therefore, many geese are hit in the body, and with steel, that often means a crippled bird. Tungsten will do the job and at much longer distances. Try it; you'll never use steel again.
And really, if you go goose hunting, use a shotgun.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New applications will benefit tungsten market

By Leia Michele Toovey

Holiday retail sales were worse than anticipated. The retail industry's leading trade group blamed a deep recession, severe winter weather and five fewer shopping days for a 2.8 per cent drop in sales. The National Retail Federation had originally forecast holiday sales for the combined November-December shopping months to grow 2.2 per cent, which would still have been the weakest pace of gain in at least six years.  The jewellery market was hardest hit, luxury goods sales were down as much as 34 per cent. However, the new Tungsten jewelry market faired exceptionally well over this holiday season., a leading online retailer of men's wedding bands, tungsten rings, titanium rings and unique contemporary jewellery designs for men and women, announced today that its 2008 holiday season sales increased by 16 per cent from last year.  The company accounts for the rise as a result of "exceptional customer service" and continual advances in tungsten jewelry.  Tungsten designs are appealing to many for their unique style, and, they are far cheaper than traditional gold and platinum.  With everyone counting their pennies these days, the tungsten jewelry market may likely witness and exceptional year.

The Central Government of China has revised from the January 1 of 2009 the value-added tax to be imposed on imports of raw materials for production of ferroalloys. This revision is applied to 82 items of raw materials and the value-added tax has been raised from 13 per ton to 17 per tonne. Raw materials for the production of tungsten ore are included in this price hike. The value-added tax is also imposed on transactions of ores produced in China and this rate has been raised from 13 per cent to 17 per cent. This is expected to have a significant impact on already struggling companies in China.  There is already talk that these companies may appeal to the Chinese Government for tax breaks that will offset the fee hike. Read more...

Tungsten prices creep higher for second week in a row

 LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Prices of ferro tungsten in
Europe crept up for the second week running as lack of new
supplies from China reinforced a dearth of material in
Rotterdam, traders said.
 Ferro Tungsten TUN-FERRO-LON was quoted higher at around
$30 a kg from $29 a kg last week and $25 a kg the week before as
consumer enquiries for the metal used to make steel for
industrial drills were met with empty hands.
 "Chinese producers are closed and they will stay closed
until after the holiday next week," a London-based trader said.
 "Most of the material in Rotterdam has been soaked up,
consumers are tentatively asking for prices."
 Chinese cutbacks and plant closures, expected to continue
until after the Lunar New Year holiday next week also helped
support prices of magnesium in Europe.
 Magnesium MGN-CHINA used to help harden aluminium for car
parts such as brakes and steering wheels was quoted at around
$3,000 a tonne from $2,900 a tonne, but traders said prospects
were poor given the dire state of the auto industry.
 "This level of activity hasn't hit government figures by a
long chalk," one said. "There are new cars piling up everywhere,
nobody knows what to do with them."
 Overall, traders said there was very little business being
done, that they did not expect to see a real recovery until the
second half of the year and that the global economic downturn
would dampen activity for some months yet.
 "People are living hand to mouth, they are only buying when
they have to," a UK-based trader said. But he added that he
thought China's steel industry was already starting to ramp up
production in anticipation of infrastructure spending.
 "It's easier to get things moving in China, they have a
holiday so things are slow, but their inventory has disappeared
and they are worried about all the cutbacks around the world ...
They need more than they've got."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

North American Tungsten in strategic deals to become vertically integrated producer


company news image

Just before Christmas, North American Tungsten announced that it had concluded a series of strategic agreements, including a joint venture, to produce and market commercial tungsten products manufactured from concentrate at its mining operations.  This importance of the announcement should not be underestimated, as it completed the transformation of North American Tungsten from a mining company to a more vertically integrated tungsten business.   

The announcement was the 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. TPT sister company Tundra Composites (TC) has further developed a patented process for manufacturing tungsten composites, a process that North American Tungsten has been granted access to through a licensing agreement.

So what does all of this mean?  It means that North American Tungsten has opened up another value add for its product inside North America.  North American Tungsten and TPT have formed Diversified Industries LLC (TDI), and will each hold 43.2 percent in the venture, with Queenwood Capital Partners LLC of Bloomington, Minnesota, owning the remaining 13.6 percent.  Diversified Industries in turn will be supplied, under a five year agreement, with 22,500 metric tonne units of tungsten concentrate, increasing the annual supply to 225,000 MTUs by 2013 from North American Tungsten.

TDI in turn is in the process of entering into a supply agreement with US ammunition maker Fiocchi to sell TUNDRA tungsten-polymer composite. TDI and Fiocchi intend to initiate the manufacture and sale of TUNDRA tungsten-polymer composites into the ballistics marketplace in the first quarter of 2009.

The deal will not only give North American a new customer, but it will also benefit in a value-add to its product generated through sales at TDI, in which it will hold a 43.2% interest.

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 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."

 "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."

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.

By Proactive Investor

Sunday, January 18, 2009

NY state gets $109m, part of Lloyd's Bank Tungsten case

NEW YORK - Manhattan's chief prosecutor has presented New York's governor with a check for $109 million _ the state's share of a settlement paid by Lloyd's TSB Bank of London for transferring money from Iran and Sudan through New York City.

Gov. David Paterson and District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Friday they believe Iran planned to use the money to buy tungsten from China. Tungsten is used in the development of long-range missiles.

Morgenthau said an investigation by his office prompted a federal case.

In all, Lloyds TSB Bank has agreed to forfeit $350 million for helping customers skirt U.S. sanctions on business transactions with Sudan and Iran.

The bank has admitted responsibility for criminal conduct based on documents filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Documents show Iran may be purchasing Tungsten ingots to make Missiles

WASHINGTON -- U.S. security and law-enforcement officials say they have fresh evidence of recent efforts by Iran to evade sanctions and acquire metals from China used in high-tech weaponry, including long-range nuclear missiles.

Iran's efforts are detailed in a series of recent emails and letters between Iranian companies and foreign suppliers seen by The Wall Street Journal. Business records show one Iranian company, ABAN Commercial & Industrial Ltd., has contracted through an intermediary for more than 30,000 kilograms (about 66,000 pounds) of tungsten copper -- which can be used in missile guidance systems -- from Advanced Technology & Materials Co. Ltd. of Beijing. One March 2008 email between the firms mentions shipping 215 ingots, with more planned.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

President Mahmoud AhmadinejadAhmadinejad

The United Arab Emirates has informed the U.S. that in September it intercepted a Chinese shipment headed to Iran of specialized aluminum sheets that can be used to make ballistic missiles. A month earlier, UAE officials also intercepted an Iran-bound shipment of titanium sheets that can be used in long-range missiles, according to a recent letter to the U.S. Commerce Department from the UAE's Washington ambassador.

Evidence of Iran's efforts to acquire sensitive materials also is emerging from investigations by state and federal prosecutors in New York into whether a number of major Western banks illegally handled funds for Iran and deliberately hid Iranian transactions routed through the U.S. One focus of the inquiries is the role of Italy, including the Rome branch of Iran's Bank Sepah and Italy's Banca Intesa Sanpaolo Spa. Banca Intesa said it is cooperating in the inquiries.

The developments could present President-elect Barack Obama with an early test in responding to what many Washington security officials now say is a rapidly growing threat to the region, including U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

All of the high-performance metals Iran has been acquiring also have industrial uses such as commercial aviation and manufacturing, making it difficult for intelligence agencies to be absolutely certain how the materials are being used. "We can't say we know it would, or would not, be used for military purposes," said proliferation expert Gary Milholland of the nonprofit Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, noting that broad economic sanctions on Tehran led by the U.S. mean Iran has to go to unusual lengths to find high-grade materials for industrial use as well as weapons.

Still, he added, "There doesn't seem to be any real doubt or debate whether Iran is going for the bomb or whether Iran is using front companies to import things. Everyone agrees on that around the world."

Iran developed the ground-to-ground Sajil missile, which it test fired late last year despite international sanctions designed to slow the nation's weapons programs.Nuclear Missile

Officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency said they believe Iran could have enough fissile material for an atomic weapon sometime this year, though it would need to be further processed into weapons-grade uranium. That assessment was echoed Thursday by Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael V. Hayden. U.S. and European governments have grown increasingly alarmed in recent months at the speed they believe Iran is developing ballistic-missile and nuclear capabilities. Last year the United Nations Security Council, which includes China, formally imposed sanctions on Iran's military and most of its banks for nuclear proliferation activities.

A spokesman for Iran at its U.N. mission in New York declined to comment. China "has been strictly implementing" U.N. proliferation sanctions on Iran, said a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing. The export of restricted items such as high-grade metals, which include specialized aluminum and titanium, is prohibited, he added.

The patchwork of proliferation agreements don't cover certain materials. Sales to Iran of a powdered form of tungsten copper are prohibited by a nonproliferation accord China has agreed to adhere to, but documents about Iran's tungsten copper purchases refer to ingots, which aren't banned in the agreement though they can be used to make missiles. High-grade tungsten copper alloy withstands ultrahigh temperatures and thus can be used in the fins of long-range missiles to greatly enhance their accuracy, according to proliferation experts.

George Perkovich of the pro-disarmament Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said use of the ingots may be an attempt to legally circumvent the restrictions. Chinese merchants, he said, "take a legalistic approach to whether it is prohibited under the treaties," while on the Iranian side, "if there's a problem where somebody's not supposed to sell them stuff, their view is, that's the sellers' problem.' "

Because of economic sanctions and the small size of Iranian banks, the banks have long relied on big European multinational banks to finance their international trade and wire transfers. Many of those transfers flowed through New York City.

Documents detailing Iran's metals acquisition efforts are being reviewed by U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence officials, people involved in the matter said. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said he is conducting a broad inquiry into illegal transactions by Iran. Last week, Lloyds TSB of London agreed to pay $350 million to settle U.S. sanctions-busting charges with Mr. Morgenthau's office and the Justice Department. The bank admitted it violated U.S. law but said the practice has ceased.

"There are nine other banks that we think were doing this," said Mr. Morgenthau in an interview, including Barclays PLC of the U.K. A Barclays spokesman had no comment beyond a prior disclosure confirming the inquiry. Other banks under scrutiny in the probe include Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, people with knowledge of the inquiries said. Credit Suisse "is cooperating with the New York County District Attorney's Office, the U.S. Department of Justice and other governmental authorities," the bank said in a statement. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment.

ABAN Commercial & Industrial Ltd. had accounts at the Rome branch of Iran's government-owned Bank Sepah, records show. Bank Sepah has longstanding ties to Banca Intesa, although no evidence has surfaced to date showing that Banca Intesa facilitated illegal acquisitions of sensitive materials by ABAN, people with knowledge of the matter said.

ABAN is run by two top officials of Iran's Aviation Industries Organization, the documents show. That agency is already under U.S. and U.N. sanctions. Efforts to contact the firm by phone and fax for comment were unsuccessful.

An Oct. 14, 2007, invoice says ABAN contracted for 30,900 kilograms of tungsten copper alloy from a firm in China in exchange for €2.1 million ($2.8 million). Additional orders were made in 2008, according to a March 27, 2008, email to ABAN from Advanced Technology & Materials Co. "I was very happy talking to you on the phone," an AT&M executive told an executive at ABAN in the email. "By now we had sent 215 pieces" of tungsten copper, he added.

ABAN didn't respond to requests for comment. Dan Hong, a lawyer for AT&M, said in an email that AT&M received warnings several months ago of allegations "that we have business dealings with Iran." But he said the firm has never heard of ABAN. "AT&M never signed any contracts with and exported to Iran" the specialized metal, he added. "We checked our business records carefully."

Records show AT&M supplied the tungsten copper to an intermediary firm called Liaoning Industry & Trade Co. Ltd. That firm couldn't be reached for comment.

Another document reviewed by the Journal is a Jan. 10, 2007, message from an executive at a Chinese metals company to Shahid Sayyadi Shirazi Industries of Iran, regarding the impact of U.S. banking sanctions on payment for a shipment of unknown material. Marked "Top Urgent!" the letter observes that the payment was arranged through Bank Sepah.

The Chinese executives "are worrying the payment may be blocked by USA or UK government through their bank/treasury system," states the letter, from an executive other business records show had shipped tungsten copper to Iran. "You are kindly required to consider the matter and check carefully and seriously with Bank Sepah if the payment can be effected safely under the current situation."

Bank Sepah has denied financing illicit weapons programs. Shahid Sayyad Shirazi Industries is part of Iran's Ammunition Industries Group, according to the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, and has been under U.N. sanctions since March 24, 2007. Efforts to contact the firm for comment were unsuccessful.

—Sabrina Cohen and Siobhan Gorman contributed to this article.

Write to Glenn R. Simpson at and Jay Solomon at

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

European Traders see strong demand for Tungsten increasing

Ferro-tungsten has rose from $26.00 /kg to $28.50 /kg. This is a result of cuts imposed by Chinese exports over the last two months. Increase in demand is expected to strengthen pricing. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ormonde raises estimate for tungsten mine in Spain

Monday, January 12, 2009, 12:53


Ormonde Mining, the IEX-listed exploration group, has said its drilling programme in Spain has found the reserves could support a far higher production rate than initially thought.

The company said drilling results from seven the last holes at the Barruecopardo Tungsten Project in Salamanca may sustain a 400,000 tonnes per year production rate, almost double earlier estimates.

Tungsten has a high melting point and is used in light bulb filaments, heating elements, engines, as well as for toughening steel and a range of other purposes.

Ormonde holds a 90 per cent interest in the Barruecopardo project. The company expects longer-term prices for tungsten concentrates to remain buoyant. Read more...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Taxpayer to own 43% in Lloyds and HBOS merger

Grainne Gilmore

Lloyds TSB marked its transformation into Britain's new "super bank" today by revealing that investors had shunned its merger with HBOS and admitting it has paid £180 million to US regulators after allowing clients to side-step US sanctions.

The UK taxpayer will now own 43.4 per cent of the merged business, which will be known as the Lloyds Banking Group, after investors bought only 0.5 per cent of shares on offer from Lloyds TSB and 0.24 per cent of stock offered by HBOS.

The share offerings by the pair were spurned because the price of the new shares had fallen well below the level at which they are trading at present.

However, the shares rose in early trading today, with Lloyds shares climbing by nearly 4 per cent to 136p and HBOS shares rising by 1 per cent to 80.8p.
Related Links

* Lloyds TSB pays for busting US sanctions

* Superbank job cuts will echo 1980s

* Last rites for Scotland's oldest bank

The banks are expected to gain approval for the merger today as Lloyds TSB attempts to draw a line under a US investigation of its dealings with Sudanese and Iranian clients.

Lloyds TSB said that it had paid £180 million after an investigation by the US Department of Justice and the New York County District Attorney's Office which found that the bank had altered clients' details, allowing them to circumvent stringent anti-terror laws in America.

Although Lloyds said that it did not expect to have to pay any more in fines, it acknowledged that discussions with the authorities over the terms of the resolution had not yet concluded.

The infringements, which Lloyds admits took place bewteen 2001 and 2004, happened under the stewardship of Peter Ellwood and Eric Daniels, the present chief executive, who was appointed in 2003.

Maarten Van Der Bergh was chairman of the bank thoughout the most of the period, stepping down in 2006 to be replaced by Sir Victor Blank.

David Pritchard and Steve Targett both served as group executive director tor for Wholesale and International Banking between 2001 and 2004.

It has also emerged that nine other European banks, including Barclays and Credit Suisse, are also under investigation for allegedly changing wire transfer information that would otherwise have shown money originated from prohibited sources.

Reports suggest that US authorities suspect that some of the money transferred through the US banking system could have been use to finance Iran's nuclear and missile programmes.

Robert Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, said: “There was an order for 30,000 metric tonnes of tungsten that would take care of every refrigerator in the Middle East and then some.

“It was not being purchased, we think, for domestic consumption . . . Tungsten was not used for making refrigerators but for long-range missiles . . . That is our supposition,” he told the Financial Times.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Iran uses front companies to secretly acquire Tungsten for guidance systems of long-range missiles.

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Iran is successfully using front companied based in the Gulf region and Asia to import American technology that can be can have military use, The Washington Post reported on its website.

Citing US researchers and Justice Department documents, the newspaper said Iran in the past two years had acquired numerous banned items including circuit boards, software and Global Positioning System devices that are used to make sophisticated versions of the improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, that kill US troops in Iraq.

The trade was briefly disrupted after the United States imposed sanctions against several Dubai-based, Iranian front companies in 2006, but the technology pipeline to Tehran is now flowing at an even faster pace, the report said.

In some cases, Iran simply opened new front companies and shifted its operations from Dubai to Asia, said the paper, citing unnamed officials.

"Without doubt, it is still going on," the report quoted one former US intelligence official as saying.

Bomb circuitry is only a part of the global clandestine trade that continues to flourish, The Post said.

A federal investigation in New York into whether banks helped customers skirt US rules forbidding business with Iran turned up evidence of Iranian interests trying to buy tungsten and other materials used in the guidance systems of long-range missiles, the paper said.

As a result of the investigation, a British bank agreed to forfeit 350 million dollars, according to the report.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Local govt in Jiangxi to support tungsten producers

Shanghai. January 9. INTERFAX-CHINA - The local government of Jiangxi Province's Ganzhou City, a major Chinese tungsten producing region, is the latest to announce a plan to support its local producers by establishing provincial reserves, local media reported on Jan. 9.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Zcom Announces Further Exploration Tungsten Mine

Zcom Network, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: ZCNW) management has announced that the company has aggressively increased its due diligence of the Mining Properties near Ridgecrest, California by setting up the phased introduction of professional geological analysis including and not limited to multiple core samples with appropriate longitude and latitude reference points as part of the mining data base.

Zcom is in discussions with two independent Geologists who have confirmed their interest in the professional analysis of both gold and tungsten of said claim. Once the geologists complete the professional sample extraction process and the various methods of assay and analysis are completed, they will then produce a Geology Report with appropriate mining economics for Zcom that will be the nucleus of a business mining plan. Implementation will begin around the first quarter 2009. Management is now aggressively in discussions with some other mining properties as potential merger and acquisition properties. Zcom management states that mineral pricing for Gold is now over $800 and the economic indicators continue to encourage us to aggressively pursue such assets for our shareholders.

For more information, visit

About Zcom Networks, Inc.: Zcom is a multi-industry holding company with diversified interests including, among others, wholly owned subsidiaries, Allied Mineral Group, Inc., a mining development, exploration and extraction company with the 160 acre gold, silver, tungsten, platinum and copper placer mining claim CLS#12 in Ridgecrest, California; Pam TV International, Inc., a talk and music program provider offering a wide range of content through an interactive multi-media broadcast platform utilizing the internet, traditional radio and satellite radio; and Super Bazar International, Inc., a shopping network company marketing and promoting multiple products on TV, radio and the internet including Super Fuel and TV Box.

This release includes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risk and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the impact of competitive products, the ability to meet customer demand, the ability to manage growth, acquisitions of technology, equipment, or human resources, the effect of economic and business conditions, the ability to attract and retain skilled personnel. The company is not obligated to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

China says to build reserves on Tungsten

SHANGHAI, Jan 8 - China expects to build up strategic reserves on, tungsten, by 2015, according to a plan of the Ministry of Land and Resources posted on its website. (

Ferro-Tungsten rises on tight Chinese supply

London 07 January 2009 13:03

According to Metal Bulletin Ltd. Ferro-tungsten price rose on Wednesday to $29 per kg. amid tight Chinese supply. Ferro-tungsten basis 75% rose to $25.50-27.25 per kg from $25-26.30 per kg previously, with traders reporting sales close to $27.50. The majority of offers received by European market participants this week were around $26.50 per kg. Read more...

Tungsten for a better roll



TECH TALK: The fusion of a milled 1025 carbon-steel body to a dense tungsten flange moves the center of gravity (CG) low and deep for a better roll. Two head weights are used to accommodate different shaft lengths, and the dual-layer face insert comprises a resilient elastomer back and a urethane outer surface that's thin but firm. The finish is black nickel. Also available in #1 (Anser-style) and #9 (mid-mallet).

PLAYER COMMENTS: (M) "Such clean, beautiful lines. best-looking putter they make." ... (L) "Sound and feel are fabulous, very quiet and distinct." ... (T) "A perfect putter for someone who focuses on path." ... ("If you're an instinctual putter, this is your instrument because it has just that single dot.")

HOT: The sleek application of extra weight to the flange encourages this classic shape to swing close to the ground. Read more...

The use of Tungsten in Golf equipment improves the game


STREET PRICE: $900 (set of eight, graphite)
LOFTS: 6-iron: 28 degrees, PW: 44 degrees

TECH TALK: Adams has tweaked its set makeup from last year's a3OS by adding a hybrid-like 9-iron, leaving one cavity-back iron (the pitching wedge) instead of two. The Boxer hybrids have a magnesium crown that is 77 percent lighter than stainless steel. The hybrids feature tungsten weights in the heel and toe to improve forgiveness.

PLAYER COMMENTS: (H) "It's not a club you'd fall in love with looking at it on the rack, but you do once you hit it." . . . (M) "The feel is fantastic for this kind of club, and the transition throughout the set seems spot-on."

HOT: When it comes to helping golfers, Adams clearly makes an effort. A maraging-steel face and the pull-face construction on the hybrids give choppers added distance, and Adams doesn't skimp on the shaft (Graphite Design's Tour AD YSQ-HL). Read more...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Metal Prices will remain low for 2009, but province's mining companies remain optimistic

Published Saturday January 3rd, 2009

Christopher Anderson is mad about tungsten.

As the vice-president of business development for Geodex Minerals Ltd. (TSX.V:GXM), Anderson helped host a recent industry meet-and-greet to get investors hyped up about the metal, which he said is essential for the construction of any large building.

"We believe that tungsten is one of these new metals at the forefront," Anderson said in a recent interview.

Geodex has been working a tungsten deposit at its Sisson Brook property near Fredericton, which executives hope will one day be among the largest and least expensive open-pit tungsten mines in the world.

The company took a break from drilling last fall due to lack of credit and hunkered down to complete mineralogical studies.

But Anderson said market factors won't impede Geodex from moving forward.

This, despite the crash in metal prices that led to the idling of two northern New Brunswick lead and zinc mines owned by a subsidiary of Blue Note Mining Inc.(TSX.V:BN) in October, and that credit is still scarce.

"We're cashed up and we've got a great deposit. We're trying to work closely with the New Brunswick government to get this up and running," he said.

Anderson's optimism is not unique among mining executives and industry observers.

Experts predict commodity prices won't inch up much before the end of 2009. The industry, though, is eyeing the province's geology in terms of the long-term prospects, which look promising, according to David Plante, the vice-president of New Brunswick's Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters chapter and manager of the New Brunswick Mining Association.

"The mineral industry is going to be the cornerstone of our economy for the next century," Plante said. Read more...