Free event explores impacts and benefits of tungsten mining near Plymouth
Aerial photo of the Drakelands Mine (credit: Wolf Minerals (UK) Ltd)

A recently reopened tungsten mine on the outskirts of Plymouth will be the subject of a free public event at Plymouth University.

Being hosted by the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute, the evening will focus on the Drakelands Mine, a globally-significant mining operation to the east of the city.

It will see speakers from the mine’s owners, Wolf Minerals, discussing how and why tungsten is extracted, the world’s tungsten supply and mining in the South West.

There will then be a question and answer session, chaired by Professor Iain Stewart, offering people the chance to ask more about the mine and its operations.

This is the latest public event to be hosted by the Sustainable Earth Institute, with the aim of increasing awareness and knowledge about a range of issues affecting society and the environment across the UK.

Professor Stewart, the Institute’s director, said:

“The new tungsten mine just outside Plymouth is a wonderful shot in the arm for mining in the South West. Tungsten is one of those critical metals that are essential for modern materials in the 21st century and Drakelands has the potential to be a global player in that market. These are exciting times.”

Tungsten is critical to a range of industrial, mining and agricultural applications and key uses are in cemented carbides, steel alloys, metal products, lighting, drill bits and jewellery.

Wolf Minerals is a British-Australian company, which originally signed an option agreement for the former Hemerdon Mine in 2007.

It began construction work on the site in March 2014, completing on schedule in June 2015, with deliveries to customers commencing in September last year.

The mine, which employs around 200 people, has one of the Western world's largest tungsten and tin resources and provides a secure supply of tungsten for a global customer base.

The public event is taking place on Wednesday 2 March at Plymouth University, and prior booking is essential. For more information, visit

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