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Progress at Plymouth’s tungsten mine: Final permit secured for production restart

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Plymouth’s potential tungsten mine is on track to achieve significant production levels following the approval to commence operations. Tungsten West Plc has secured a crucial permit from the Environment Agency, allowing it to operate its mineral processing plant as it prepares to initiate mining and ore processing activities by 2026.

This permit marks the final regulatory hurdle for the expansive Hemerdon mine near Plympton, clearing the way for full-scale production. Tungsten West reports substantial progress on an updated feasibility study, slated for completion by year-end.

Securing this permit represents a pivotal advancement for the Hemerdon mine project. Coupled with the forthcoming feasibility study, it positions Tungsten West to secure additional financing essential for bringing the mine into full operational status. The focus of the study includes optimizing capital expenditures necessary for restarting operations and managing ongoing operational costs, leveraging insights from two prior studies conducted by the company. Mining Plus UK Ltd has been tasked with completing this updated feasibility study.

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Tungsten West’s strategy emphasizes maximizing tungsten and tin recovery through its mineral processing facility, targeting an annual throughput of 3.5 million tonnes following an initial ramp-up phase. The company has outsourced mining operations to Hargreaves (UK) Services under an existing contractual agreement.

A spokesperson from Tungsten West expressed enthusiasm over receiving the final permit for the mine processing facility, emphasizing that the Environmental Agency has endorsed their mining activities for their commitment to environmental and human health standards. This milestone underscores Tungsten West’s dedication to operational excellence and positions them for continued success in their processing endeavors.

Alistair Stobie, Chief Financial Officer and interim CEO following Neil Gawthorpe’s recent departure, highlighted the permit’s significance in reducing operational risks and enabling progress in financing discussions. The company aims to expedite its updated feasibility study, with the goal of resuming operations by 2026.

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