On Wednesday the euro got stronger, reaching a one-month high against the dollar. Equity markets also moved higher, partly because Moody's decided not to downgrade Spain's credit rating to junk status, but largely on speculation that the country's officials are moving closer to finalizing the request for a bailout.
Whether or not the country actually makes this request may be important in some circles, but not for Almonty and not for tungsten.
“I truly do not believe Spain is a risk country,” Black said. “The Spanish are creative and resilient people. They are very smart people. I have absolute confidence they will get it together. It's not going to be easy or pretty. But they are proud people and they will not allow themselves to fail and certainly not to fail in the eyes of the world.”
“Even if something were to happen with the euro or somebody leaves the union, Europe is still going to be there. Tungsten is still a global material,” said Black.“We are likely to see this hand-to-mouth policy among consumers for the rest of the year. Then we expect that they will start to rebuild inventories in the first quarter of 2013.” He also insisted that the conditions in Spain and the Eurozone crisis overall will not have any impact on the company's decisions for future investment in the region as long as the company has access to the right people for any project that it might consider. “Europe has some of the best skilled technical people in the world. Spain and Portugal have always been supportive of mining. And we would always be interested in pursuing projects in any place that supports mining,” Black said. That then leads to the question of investors' confidence. Do investors continue to value Almonty as one of the few tungsten plays outside of China, or are they heaping the company into the larger EU risk basket?