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Reviving Plymouth’s tungsten and tin Mine: Progress, investment, and regulatory hurdles

Tungsten West Plc’s plans to reopen the tungsten and tin mine near Plymouth, England, are progressing steadily with the recent injection of £1.6 million from investors. This funding will be utilized to commence an updated feasibility study, expected to conclude by the end of 2024. Following this, the company intends to embark on a new financing round in the latter part of the year to support the resumption of production in early 2026.

The investment, facilitated through convertible loan notes (CLNs), underscores investor confidence in the project’s potential. Tungsten West Plc aims to leverage these funds to advance its operational capabilities and fulfill regulatory requirements.

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Meanwhile, the Environment Agency (EA) has initiated the final round of consultation regarding a permit application submitted by Tungsten West’s subsidiary, Drakelands Restoration Ltd. This application pertains to restarting mineral processing activities at the Hemerdon mine. The EA has undertaken a thorough assessment process, involving input from various stakeholders and experts, to evaluate potential environmental and societal impacts.

Thus far, the EA has not identified any evidence indicating significant harm to humans or the environment resulting from the proposed operations. However, the regulatory body remains committed to scrutinizing any new information received during the final consultation phase before rendering a final decision on the permit application.

Key considerations during the assessment process include managing issues such as low-frequency noise, which had previously posed challenges during the mine’s prior operation under Wolf Mineral Ltd. The EA has reviewed the operator’s strategies for mitigating noise, dust, and emissions to ensure compliance with environmental standards and minimize adverse effects on the surrounding community and ecosystem.

Overall, the developments signify progress towards the eventual reopening of Plymouth’s tungsten and tin mine, subject to regulatory approvals and successful completion of operational preparations.

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