University of Cambridge

Tungsten mine in Cornwall

H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia

Images courtesy of P. D. Bhadeshia.

Wolframite, (Fe,Mn)WO4, has a monoclinic lattice in which a=0.477 nm, b=0.573 nm, c=0.498 nm, β=90.2o, space group P2/c. It is a valuable source of tungsten that can be used in armaments.

The Cligga Mine & Nobels Munitions Factory initially was focused on making explosives but during the second war, tungsten mining became important. This enabled armour plated with tungsten and also shells that could penetrate ordinary armour, presumably as kinetic-energy projectiles given the density of tungsten at 19.3 g cm-3.

Cligga mine, Cornwall

This is one of the settling tanks at Cligga Head Wolframite mine. The purpose is to allow sedimentation in order to separate out relatively clear water from mineral spoils.

Cligga mine, Cornwall

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