Waste permit application for Hemerdon tungsten mine

  • 20 May 2013
  • From the section Devon
Hemerdon mine
Image caption Once reopened, the mine could produce 3,000 tonnes of tungsten and tin a year

Applications have been made for more permits needed to restart mining tungsten on Dartmoor, the Environment Agency says.

Wolf Minerals wants to reopen the mine at Hemerdon, near Plympton.

The agency said it had received applications from Wolf Minerals for a mining waste operation and an associated water quality permit.

It added it would be "actively seeking responses" in a consultation process before granting any permits.

Darts and ballast

The Australian-based company wants to begin mining at Hemerdon by the end of 2014.

It said it expected Hemerdon to be the "world's next major tungsten mining operation".

The mine is believed to be the fourth largest tungsten resource in the world and the company hopes to produce about 3,000 tonnes of tungsten and tin a year.

Tungsten, which is used in armaments, darts, light bulbs and as ballast for racing cars, was discovered at Hemerdon in 1867.

Mining was carried out at the site between 1919 and 1920 and again from 1934 to 1944, when production ceased, but the booming economies of China and India have increased worldwide demand.

Water quality permits deal with possible discharges into waterways.

The Environment Agency has already granted seven permits in connection with water in and around the area.

Devon County Council granted planning permission in 1986 to develop the mine, which remains valid until 2021.

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