Drakelands Mine (formally Hemerdon Tungsten Project)

Drakelands Mine (formally Hemerdon Tungsten Project)

Wardell Armstrong was commissioned by Wolf Minerals to provide periodic audits and reports on the management and progress of the Drakelands Mine (formally Hemerdon Tungsten Project) located in Devon during the construction and commissioning phase to ensure adherence to best practice of project management. In August 2014 Wardell Armstrong completed a water management and compliance review.

The mine involves an open cut mining operation to recover tungsten ore, onsite processing of the ore and onsite disposal of waste on the Mine Waste Facility (MWF). The MWF, covers an area of approximately 175 hectares and extending to the lower slopes of the Tory Brook (watercourse) valley. The MWF encompass both the management of waste material from the open pit and the process plant, but also the management of water used, stored, recovered and otherwise discharged as a result of waste material disposal activities. This is achieved through water storage and water management facilities via various sedimentation basins and the Tory Pond (storage capacity of 70,000m3) all of which are located upstream from the confluence of the Hooksburry Stream and the Tory Brook. The MWF water impoundment supplies process water to the plant. A total water demand of 120m3/hr was identified to include processing (60m3/hr) and washing (60m3/hr). After use, this water ends up in the process water circuit, and therefore results in less demand for return water from the MWF.

In addition to the reuse of water, Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) techniques are used onsite, which includes:
• Green roofs / rainwater reuse - reduce flow rates and improve water quality;
• Permeable pavements – where quality allows;
• Swales and basins - providing temporary storage for storm water, reduce peak flows to receiving waters and facilitate the filtration of pollutants;
• Infiltration trenches and filter drains; and
• Stilling ponds and wetlands.

Aerial photo of Drakelands Mine - Photo taken from Wolf Minerals website