Tungsten mine looks set to become one of largest in the world

Hermerdon mine

A tungsten mine in Devon has the potential to be the largest in the world – according to a new feasibility study.

The AIM listed company Tungsten West has published a feasibility study into Hemerdon mine near Plymouth.

The report found the mine has the potential to  become the largest tungsten producer in the Western World.

The mine has already seen over £200m of investment to date, including the development of significant infrastructure, pre-stripping of the open pit and construction of the mineral processing facility.

Mark Thompson, executive vice chairman of Tungsten West, said: “We are delighted to deliver this updated feasibility study which showcases the attractive economics of our project that will enable us to sustainably deliver the critical metals, tungsten and tin, into world markets.

“The updated feasibility study was completed as part of the revised plan for the Hemerdon mine, which was essential due to the unforeseen geopolitical circumstances and energy price inflation shock of 2022.

“The feasibility study provides solutions to the energy price challenges and will enable increased operating efficiencies at the project.”

He added: “Key highlights from this study include a revised ore delivery and waste mining strategy, a split phase approach to operational ramp-up to the full design specification, a new primary and secondary crushing method and location, a re-optimisation of the operating strategy for the XRT ore sorters, re-design and re-engineering of the feed preparation, ore sorter buildings and structures, and a re-evaluation of the operation of unit processes and expected recoveries.

“Tungsten is on both the EU and US lists of critical metals and due to geopolitical tensions and security of supply issues the market remains strong. With Hemerdon in production, we will provide an alternative source of tungsten to Western consumers in markets which are otherwise dominated by China.

“We are build-ready at Hemerdon and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders to bring Hemerdon back into production in the fourth quarter of 2023.”

China currently accounts for circa 90 per cent of global tungsten reserves and 80 per cent of mine production, and Chinese APT production share is between 85 per cent and 90 per cent of world supply.





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