Wolf Minerals stops trading, shuts down mine

Materials World magazine
,
11 Oct 2018

Blasting at the Drakelands mine in Hermerdon, UK, stopped for a second day as the Australian-owned company enters voluntary administration.

Wolf Minerals (UK), Australia, has entered voluntary administration as talks with international backers fails to result in further finance.

Hoping to exploit the fourth largest deposit of tungsten globally, Wolf Minerals (UK) reopened the Drakelands mine in 2015, aiming to produce around 3,000 tonnes of tungsten and tin annually.

Wolf received a £2m loan in July 2018, but the company issued a statement on Tuesday 9 October detailing a short-term working capital crisis. A further statement on Wednesday 10 October specified, ‘The Company has been unable to satisfactorily conclude its discussions with key financial stakeholders’ and had entered voluntary administration. Consequently, shares in Wolf Minerals (UK) have been suspended.

The Drakelands site employs around 250 staff. No further details have been provided. Statements from Sparkwell Parish Council and the South West Business Council both urge agencies to provide guidance for employees likely to lose their jobs.

Tim Jones, Chairman of the South West Business Council, said, ‘The hope is that the tungsten market will prove to be resilient, leading to an early resolution to this. The immediate issue is over the displaced workers – it is essential that we do not lose their skills.’