Nui Phao and H.C. Starck will own 51% and 49%, respectively, of the joint venture, which will process all of Nui Phao’s tungsten concentrate into higher value-add tungsten chemicals, including ammonium paratungstate (APT) and blue tungsten oxide (BTO). The joint venture company will have an installed capacity of 6,500 tons tungsten trioxide per annum.

H.C. Starck will manage the joint venture and has committed to buy a significant share of the production for its own internal use. H.C. Starck will also support marketing of the remaining product through the joint venture.

“For H.C. Starck, this joint venture strengthens our leading position as a global tungsten producer and increases our manufacturing footprint in Asia,” said Andreas Meier, president and CEO of H.C. Starck. “Based on the secured supply of tungsten concentrate and our recycling capabilities, we can provide our customers long-term supply security independent from regulatory restrictions and we expect less price volatility for the mineral.”

Nui Phao has developed one of the largest known tungsten deposits outside of China with an expected mine life of more than 15 years. The construction of the tungsten chemical plant that will be part of the joint venture is in progress. The first stage of the tungsten chemical plant will start production next month, with further stages expected to be completed in 2014.