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Tungsten West celebrates first female mine manager for International Day of Women in Mining

To celebrate International Day of Women in Mining, Tungsten West is showcasing one of the highly successful women working at its Hemerdon Mine in Devon.


Narina Shorland, 39, is believed to be the first female Mine Manager at a metalliferous mine in the UK after taking on the position on an interim basis earlier this year.



She has worked in mining for almost 10 years as a Senior Mining Engineer for a variety of companies including Wardell Armstrong International, Wolf Minerals and AMC Consultants, before joining Tungsten West in 2021.


She holds a Degree in Structural Engineering in Construction and a Masters in Mining Engineering from the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall. She is also a Chartered Engineer with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).


When asked why she took on the challenge of the interim role, Narina said:

“It’s a fantastic career opportunity and an incredible chance to learn and grow. I’m exceptionally grateful that the Executive Team at Tungsten West has such faith in me and I look forward to delivering results for the business whilst we gear up to start mining operations in 2023.”

James McFarlane, Managing Director for Tungsten West, said: “In taking on this incredibly important role for Tungsten West, I have known Narina for some time and have significant confidence in her capabilities. Narina is one of several talented women who work at the highest technical levels in our business. She very ably leads a predominantly male team and is responsible for all aspects of the care and maintenance of the mine site and mobile plant alongside leading the project’s mine planning and engineering work.


“Her approach to leadership is fantastic – she is pragmatic, sensible and, at times, uncompromising, which is incredibly important in her role. She manages to balance this with being approachable, friendly and welcoming. Her knowledge and skills are extremely impressive and yet she remains humble, with a real passion for mining that still burns bright.”


Narina is a true trailblazer and has never been one to shy away from a challenge - at the age of 23 she left her home country of Russia and headed to England to pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.


She spoke very little English at the time but didn’t let that stop her - she signed up to a student exchange programme in 2006 with a determination to succeed. Fast-forward to 2015 and Narina had achieved a degree and masters in her second language.


When asked what made her leave behind everything she knew in Russia, including her parents and brother, to study and work in the UK, she explains:

“I was young and fearless. I’m not sure if I could ever do anything like that again – it was tough but now England is my home.”

Not only is Narina exceptionally successful in her career, she is also a dedicated charity worker. For the past four years, she has been volunteering for a charity called SmileStar, which helps to provide medical care for people who either do not have access to, or cannot afford medical treatment, particularly dental care, in Africa and India.


Narina is set to visit Tanzania this July, using two weeks of her annual leave to complete this incredible charity work, and will fly out again in December to support efforts in Sierra Leone.


When asked why she dedicates her time to charity work, Narina explained:

“It’s something me and my boyfriend do together. We are both passionate about providing people with the chance to grow up healthy. At the end of the day, I’m a people person and this is my way of helping.”

Narina is also a member of Women in Mining, the Cornish Institute of Engineers and the IOM3. She has delivered a technical case presentation at the WIM event held each June and supported students with careers advice.

When asked why she works in mining, Narina tells us: “I love everything about mining – it’s such a unique industry and one that has such an impact on the world. It’s complex and you never stop learning. Mining provides the vital ingredients for the lifestyles we take for granted, and it will continue to provide the critical materials needed to reach our net-carbon zero goals. Mining is an industry that connects the world – metal prices and world events impact the industry in unprecedented ways. Taking on the challenge of mining in the most sustainable and environmentally responsible ways is something that I love.”

Tungsten West’s workforce is currently made up of 24% women who occupy a variety of positions across the business including in engineering, geology, finance, HR and various ESG roles.


To recognise Narina’s fantastic achievements, Tungsten West has nominated her for a WIM 100 Award.


Wednesday 15 June 2022