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Report: NMDC looks to explore for tungsten in Western Australia

Indian state-owned National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd., or NMDC, is seeking to secure tungsten exploration licenses in Western Australia, Press Trust of India reported Sept. 9.

The metal is vital in India's defense and aerospace sectors, and the country currently meets its entire requirement via imports.

NMDC made three new exploration tenement applications in Western Australia's Kimberley region, and all three have some known tungsten occurrences as well as prospective geology to contain other minerals, including copper, zinc, gold and rare earth elements, company sources said.

The company's Legacy Iron Ore Ltd. subsidiary undertakes exploration for iron ore, gold and other minerals in Australia.

NMDC is also in talks with Masan Resources Corp. for a substantial interest in the latter's Nui Phao tungsten mine in northern Vietnam.

The state-owned company earlier inked memorandums of understanding with Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd. and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory to assess tungsten investment opportunities locally and abroad. It also signed a MOU with Indian Rare Earths Ltd. to explore for rare earth minerals.

The miner submitted the proposal for reservation of Khobna tungsten block in India's Maharashtra state, the sources added.

Meanwhile, NMDC is setting up a pilot-scale gold processing plant within its Tanzanian mining lease, the report added.