Tungsten West appoints new CEO

Tungsten West

Neil Gawthorpe has been appointed chief executive of Tungsten West, the mining company focused on restarting production at the Hemerdon tungsten and tin mine in Devon.

Gawthorpe holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mineral Engineering from the University of Leeds and has enjoyed a successful career in the mining industry, spanning almost 30 years.

“It is a privilege to join Tungsten West as CEO and to help deliver the world-class Hemerdon project for the company, local community and the nation,” Gawthorpe said.

“Having had already worked with the Tungsten West team in an advisory capacity, I have no doubt this will be a smooth transition and I look forward to bringing this exciting project online. It is my immediate priority to conduct a review of the funding options and timeline for the project and update the market with the results shortly.”

Early-stage works on the Hemerdon restart project started in January 2023 and are continuing safely and as planned, Tungsten West said.

Accordingly, at 31 December 2022, £14m of the project capital expenditure has been spent at Hemerdon since the company’s IPO significantly preparing the project for the restart.

The company said it has now received four of the five permits required for the project restart.

It said it is actively engaged in advanced negotiations with potential funding partners and that this will be a major focus of the new CEO with the assistance of Hannam & Partners and VSA Capital.

Separately, Tungsten West said that Francis Johnstone and Grace Stevens have stepped down as non-executive directors with immediate effect.

David Cather, chairman of Tungsten West, said: “On behalf of the board and the company, it is a pleasure to welcome Neil to the senior executive team.

“Neil has extensive experience in operational integration, stakeholder engagement and business development, having successfully provided management support at a number of operations. These skills, amassed over an impressive career, will be invaluable to Tungsten West as it continues to progress towards becoming a sustainable tungsten and tin producer.

“I would like to thank Francis for his contribution since joining the Board in 2019, especially for his guidance through the early funding process and the transition to a listed company. I would also like to thank Grace for her dedication leading the Audit and Risk Committee and overseeing the Company’s drive to meet the highest governance standards expected of a listed company.

“We are entering a pivotal time for the Company and, with someone with Neil’s background at the helm, I am highly confident that we will complete a successful Project financing and continue to drive value for all stakeholders.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...