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Fact sheet


Wolframite contains iron, manganese and tungsten and is the main ore mineral of the metal tungsten.

It is found at many localities within Cornwall, in veins alongside cassiterite and closely associated with granites. Until the mid-19th century, wolframite was treated just as another impurity mineral or waste product. When the useful properties of tungsten metal (its hardness and density) were fully appreciated, it was found to be a valuable additive to alloys and steel. Demand rose quickly, particularly during the First World War, reflecting its use in the manufacture of armaments. Tungsten rapidly became a high-value by-product at many tin mines. East Pool was one of the four main producers of tungsten and pioneered production during the 1860s & 70s.

This specimen of wolframite and quartz is one of three specimens from Rogers lode at East Pool & Agar, gifted to the Royal Institution of Cornwall in 1916 by Jabez F Maynard, who was Secretary at the mine during the war years.

Chemical Formula: (Fe2+,Mn)WO4

Specimen no. TRURI: 1916.20.2
Location: East Pool mine
Grid Reference: SW 674 415

Mindat http://www.mindat.org/min-4305.html

Additional images
  • Wolframite and quartz 5 cm across
  • Wolframite and quartz 7 cm across
50.227648, -5.262559
About this collection

This Collection focuses on Cornwall and West Devon’s mineralogical and mining heritage.  The specimens it features are drawn from the collection of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (RIC) held at the Royal Cornwall Museum (RCM). 

This collaborative project involving the RCM, the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and The Open University explores how access to the RIC’s mineral collection and the stories it can tell can be widened using digital technology.  It includes radioactive minerals from Cornwall that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public for health and safety reasons.

Sample details

Category guide  
Category Guide
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Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
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We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: