Hemerdon Mine

These images were taken on an arranged tour of the Hemerdon Mine site in 2012. For a day that held so much promise the weather was rubbish; cold, and wet, consequently the photography did not really go to plan.

The area was totally cleared in 2014 in preparation for the new development, there was an extensive 1940’s processing mill which sadly was lost. The mine was initially worked in 1867 on a small scale. The first real operational period was during the First World War when Tungsten was in short supply. The mine was worked as an open cast between 1918 and 1919 producing approximately 16,000 tonnes of ore.

During the Second World War operations were resumed once again. A new processing plant was erected in 1943 the remains of which were quite extensive but were subsequently demolished to make way for the new mine, the site finally closed in 1944.
There has been an interest in the Tungsten and Tin deposits for many years; in the 1980’s there was an extensive drilling program, this and other investigations indicated a deposit of over 45 million tonnes. The low values of the deposits and the low price of Tungsten at the time caused the project to be abandoned.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 1: One of the buildings on the site in 2012. This has now been demolished to make way for the new developments. This probably dated to the 1980’s when the drilling program was in operation.

After much investigation Wolf Minerals acquired the Hemerdon Mine site in 2014. Since then a new access road was built, a modern processing plant has been constructed and the mine is in full operation. With indicated ore reserves in the region of 200 million tonnes of .02% Tin and .018% Wolfram it could be one of the top four largest producers in the world.

 

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 2: This is the open works as it looked in 2012, however it does not look this way now.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 3: All this has changed dramatically since the new mine was opened, I have hopes of being able to arrange a visit.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 4: My late friend, Dr Nick Le Boutillier eagerly searching for samples in the mine open works.

There were two large warehouses that we were allowed access into. Both contained many thousands of drill core samples. These were the product of the 1980’s investigation of the site and Wolf Minerals had used them as the basis for the modern mine plan.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 5: The inside of the first warehouse we were allowed in. One side was full of collapsed core racks and old work benches.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 6: A closer look at the collapsed racks.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 7: The samples would have all been carefully recorded and mapped. These supplied the foundations of the mineral resource for Wolf.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 8: The other end of the warehouse was much more orderly. The boxes having been sorted out by the Wolf Mineral employees.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 9: It must have been a huge job sorting through all these samples.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 10: Many thousands of core samples, all neatly stacked in their own boxes. Wolf also did an extensive drilling program based on the results from the earlier investigations.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 11: A detailed look at what the core boxes contained, the key to a possible fortune in minerals.

This is the second warehouse which was in quite a bad way. Sadly vandals had wrecked much of the interior, but it was still interesting to have an explore. Consequently all the cores had been removed to the main warehouse.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 12: This is the interior of the second warehouse.

Hemerdon Mine

Hemerdon Mine 13: Finally, in one corner of the building was an old air compressor, when this was last used and why, I have no idea.

There was a second trip a few months after this. When I have completed the printing of  the images, they will be added to this page.

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