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Mine jobless must be supported, says councillor

October 14, 2018 9:05 PM

Hemerdon mineSouth Hams District Council opposition leader Keith Baldry has called on Devon and South Hams councils to support all those whose jobs are now at risk following the closure of the Wolf Minerals tungsten mine near Sparkwell.

"I am very sad for all the estimated 250 people who are losing their jobs," said councillor Keith Baldry after news broke that Australian firm Wolf Minerals (UK) had gone into voluntary administration.

"I'd like to call on the leadership of both Devon County Council and South Hams District Council to take immediate steps to help save the 200 jobs now in jeopardy at the Wolf Minerals tungsten mine in Hemerdon," said Keith.

"The logical first step would be to ask for a meeting with the administrators Ferrier Hodgson to see what practical steps the councils could take to help facilitate a rescue of the financially troubled mining operation.

"We're seeing all sorts of press reports about this matter. Whether or not the mine remains under the control of Wolf Minerals or is purchased by another mining company, local government has a role to play to ensure these jobs aren't lost or reduced during whatever transitions lays ahead."

The Drakelands mine at Hemerdon, near Plymouth, reopened in 2015. Wolf, which had spent £130m in start-up expenses alone, had hoped to produce about 3,000 tonnes of tungsten and tin a year after reopening the mine, said to be the world's fourth-largest deposit of tungsten.