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Devon County Council is in the process of drafting a “Minerals Core Strategy”. This will provide the framework for mineral working and restoration in Devon over the next 20 years. The plan area covers the whole of Devon, apart from those areas covered by Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, who produce their own mineral plans. The new Options Consultation Paper (ended on 29th April 2011) built on the work undertaken to date by describing the context for the Minerals Core Strategy, before providing a concise range of options for addressing the key issues. Some matters affect the whole of Devon, while some are more localised and, where possible, these options are presented on a local area basis to help people easily understand the range of issues in their area. World Commodity prices fluctuate widely, more or less tracking world economic growth and the demand for raw materials. A local example is the proposed re-opening of the Tungsten Mine at Hemerdon, north East of Plymouth. CPRE Devon, along with the Dartmoor National Park Authority, support this venture.
There are inevitably some overlaps between minerals working and restoration and other regional strategies. Mineral extraction is transport intensive and the companies involved operate over areas much larger than that represented by individual administrative boundaries. Energy from waste plants (Incinerators) (EFW) produce bottom ash, a product that can compete with some aggregates for the construction industry and we are already seeing current mineral extraction facilities at Lee Moor being proposed for a large Biomass Plant (Anaerobic Digester) as part of a wider waste management strategy for the county. CPRE Devon continues to monitor each of these strategies with the aim of ensuring that a fair balance is struck between the needs of the industry and those of the countryside.