Sad News for Hemerdon Mine
It’s been a sad week for metal mining in the South West as the Hemerdon Mine near Plymouth has been forced to close. Problems have beset the mine from the outset, in the processing of the tungsten ore and, recently, fluctuating world tungsten prices.
Our Senior Geologist, Brian Poole, shares his thoughts.
“Hemerdon Mine was touted to be a significant global producer of tungsten, potentially supplying 3% of global production. It was also seen as a flag bearer for a wave of new potential mining adventures in the South West, many of whom will have now had both their and their investor’s confidence knocked by Hemerdon’s closure.
“Mining can be a precarious business, often with huge investments required to develop a working mine, and with increasing environmental and planning constraints under UK regulations, it can take a long time and require favourable conditions for a mine to turn a profit. It has always been this way; South West mining has seen numerous episodes of boom and bust throughout its long history with all too few mines being financially successful.
“But Hemerdon is not finished – and hope remains of a possible re-opening in the future should new investment come in, ore processing issues be sorted out and world prices become favourable.”