After administration forced Wolf Minerals Ltd. to shut down its operations on the Hemerdon Mine near Plymouth, Tungsten West Limited saw a prime opportunity. The mine is the oldest granite mine in the South-West of England, and it’s thought to be the world’s fourth-largest tungsten resource.
Tungsten West is reviving the mine with a strategic, lower-cost approach that will put the South-West on the map in the tungsten market – and make the region a leading supplier of the metal.
The company acquired the mine in 2018 and spent its initial six months investigating the ore’s characterisation. The survey revealed the minerals present are ferberite, not the initially suggested wolframite, which meant the company would need a new processing route.
Tungsten West now plans to use x-ray transmission ore sorting, a pre-concentration technology that scans individual rocks for their density and removes any unnecessary material. This step will reduce overall processing costs and help the company send a much cleaner and high-grade ore for concentration, which will allow the team to extract greater quantities of tungsten per tonne of ore.
Outside China, tungsten concentrates are a rare commodity, which means Tungsten West has a huge opportunity to fill a gap in the market. The metal is used for tooling and die-cast applications in the automotive sector, and acts as a key part of semiconductors, making it critical to electronics production.
There’s a significant risk that the EU and the US won’t have sufficient Tungsten resources in the near future, so projects like Tungsten West’s will remain essential.
Tungsten West reports its operating expenses and cash costs are significantly below those of previous owners Wolf Minerals, putting the company in a strong position to seize the full potential of the Hemerdon Mine.
What’s more, the company is also planning to collaborate with local renewable power projects to run the mine sustainably – following the trend of sustainable mining practices used across the region today.
To learn more about Tungsten West, visit https://www.tungstenwest.com
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