The £123 million Wolf Minerals Drakelands tungsten and tin mine in Hemerdon near Plymouth is the first new metal mine to be opened in the UK for 45 years, and has already resulted in millions of pounds being injected into the Heart of the South West economy.
Tungsten is used in a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, and construction and has been identified by the UK, EU and USA as a critical mineral for economic growth.
The company behind the development, speciality metals firm Wolf Minerals Limited, is listed on both the Australian (ASX) and London (AIM) stock exchanges and its strategic objective is to become a world class tungsten producer through the development of the Hemerdon tungsten deposit – which is the third largest in the world.
The project is likely to put a large slice of the anticipated £70 million annual sales into the Heart of the South West and UK economies and create more than 200 jobs ranging from geologists, engineers and mining surveyors to truck drivers. A highly skilled project team has already been recruited, and is based at Plymouth Science Park. Many of the team have strong local connections with the area and several are returning to the area with considerable international mining experience.
Contracts ranging in value from under £100,000 to more than £3 million have already been awarded to companies across the South West, with the majority of the high value contracts being for the supply of equipment and infrastructure for the mine site, as well as specialist professional consultancy services.
Significant support has been provided to the project by the UK Government through UKTI and by local partners at Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council and the Heart of the South West LEP.
Wolf Minerals managing director Russell Clark said “The scale and specialist nature of work is already delivering significant positive economic benefits for local companies, their supply chains and the wider economy. “There is a wealth of specialist expertise and enthusiasm in Devon and Cornwall for this project and we are very pleased to be supporting local companies and harnessing their skills to create a world class mine. “The Drakelands Mine, Hemerdon project will create about 200 direct jobs and pump hundreds of millions of pounds into the South West and UK economies over the next decade.”