By Samantha James

JAPAN state-owned miner JOGMEC will forfeit its 30 per cent interest in Vital Metal’s development-ready tungsten Watershed project in Queensland.

JOGMEC failed to complete a transfer to an incoming Japanese partner by the agreed deadline of 31 December 2015, gifting Vital 100 per cent ownership of the development-ready tungsten project for no consideration.

Vital said it was looking to recommence discussions with potential new development partners who had expressed interest but “may have been deterred” by the previous joint venture arrangements.

“Watershed ticks virtually every box from the perspective of potential development partners looking to invest in a high-quality, long-life tungsten deposit,” Vital managing director Mark Strizek said.

“There is no better time to developing a resource project as all capital and operating expenditure cost input are now at historical lows.”

Vital completed a Definitive Feasibility Study at Watershed in 2014 which outlined a 2.5 million tonne per annum mining and processing operation across 10 years.