Construction of the Drakelands Mine began on site in March 2014 and was completed on schedule in June 2015, with deliveries to customers commencing in September 2015.
The Drakelands Mine is rated by the British Geological Survey as the world's fourth largest tungsten resource and it provides a secure supply of tungsten for a global customer base. A tin concentrate is also produced, generating additional revenue for Wolf.
Wolf is led by an experienced management team of British and Australian mining professionals and more than 200 people are permanently employed on site.
Wolf is committed to displaying leadership in health, safety and sustainable development and is working proactively to manage its impact on the environment.
The Drakelands Mine is a recently constructed world-class tungsten and tin mine located in the United Kingdom and it is one of only two mines outside of China with production capacity greater than 3,000tpa tungsten concentrate.
Drakelands Mine is located near the village of Hemerdon in the UK in an existing mining area and adjacent to operating China clay mines.
The City of Plymouth is only 10 kilometres away, providing the Mine with excellent transport links and power and water infrastructure. Plymouth has a large naval base and university providing strong ancillary services and support for the Mine.
The location of the Drakelands Mine enables Wolf to recruit and retain a talented and stable workforce, who generally live in the local area.
The extraction of tungsten at Drakelands takes place through open pit mining, with the pit measuring 850m long by 450m wide and ultimately extending to a depth of 260 metres. The sides of the pit will be cut in benches to allow for safe working as the mine gets deeper.
Ore removed from the pit is stockpiled according to its mineralogical characteristics and grade in preparation for use in the processing plant.
Waste rock from the open pit is loaded by excavators onto dump trucks and driven on internal haul roads to the mine waste facility (MWF). The material being deposited in the waste facility is classified as non-hazardous.
The MWF is designed to be inherently stable. Its construction consists of a rockfill embankment progressively constructed from run-of-mine waste. Finer residues (tailings) are contained within this embankment and allowed to settle, with the excess water pumped back to the processing plant for recycling.
The MWF has similarities with the china clay tips already found in the area at nearby Lee Moor and throughout mid-Cornwall.
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