In November 2013, Blackheath entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the Vale das Gatas Tungsten Project. The Vale das Gatas mine was the second most prolific past producer of tungsten in Portugal, after Borralha, also owned by Blackheath. The Vale das Gatas mine closed in 1986 as a result of a significant decline in tungsten price. At its peak, the mine employed over 1,000 workers and produced up to 635 tonnes of tungsten concentrates annually. Ore was mined primarily from quartz veins containing the tungsten mineral wolframite together with lesser amounts of the tin mineral cassiterite. The average recovered grade of the mine was 0.35% WO3 (tungsten trioxide) per tonne. The Vale das Gatas mine is held in the Vila Verde exploration concession which covers an area of 213 square kilometres located about 100 kilometres east of Porto in northern Portugal.
At least twenty-four wolframite-bearing sub-vertical quartz veins have been identified over some 550 metres. No drilling was ever undertaken on the property and reports from miners who worked at Vale das Gatas until its closure have reported that these veins were to be the next source of ore for the mine. Initial work by Blackheath will focus on mapping and sampling of these veins as well as general exploration in the surrounding area. To date, Blackheath has identified approximately 300 old mine workings on the property.
A single grab sample taken from one of the tungsten-bearing veins assayed 6.6 per cent tungsten trioxide or 66 kilograms per tonne. Six grab samples were taken from six of the waste dumps and averaged 0.68 per cent WO3 (tungsten trioxide) or 6.8 kg/t, ranging from 1.43 per cent to 0.18 per cent WO3 with additional tin values averaging 0.11 per cent Sn (these must be considered to be preliminary selected samples and, as such, may not be representative of average values for each area.)