Needle Hill Tungsten Mine – Timeline 1917 to 1967

HF: This timeline of the history of Needle Hill mine comes from the excellent book, Hong Kong Mining History, linked below. The authors have kindly given permission for this extract to be included on this website.

Needle Hill Tungsten Mine is located in Shing Mun and was the biggest tungsten mine in Hong Kong. It had more than 2,000 workers in the 1950s, but the site has since been abandoned. The Shing Mun Tunnel on Route Number 5 was built under the underground mine site in 1990.

Needle Hill Timeline:

1917 The first mining permit was issued

1926 Production started

1935 Civil Engineer, Mr G. Hull, discovered high-grade wolfranite veins during the construction of Jubilee Reservoir

Gifford Hull

1936 A 21-year mining lease, Mining Lot No.9, covering about 540 acres, was issued to Marsman Investments Ltd of London

1938 The mining lease was transferred to Marsman Hong Kong (China) Ltd

Jan Hendrik Marsman

1941 More than 500 Chinese miners were working in the area. The mine was closed in December due to the Japanese occupation

1942 The mine was reopened by the Taiwan Development Company (operated by Japanese) in July

1945 After World War 2, the mine site was once again abandoned. All mining machinery and facilities were looted

1946 Small-scale excavations were carried out by former miners

1951 The mine was sub-leased to the Hoong Foo Mining Company and re-opened

1952 During the peak period, the area of the mine was 364 hectares, with around 2,000 miners

1955 The mine closed once again

1956 Yan Hing Company Ltd of Hong Kong undertook the mining lease. The mine was reopened. In the next ten years, Hong Kong produced more than hundred tons of wolframite concentrates, almost all of which came from this mine

1961 Small scale operations with around 50 miners

1967 The mining operation was closed due to a drop in the tungsten price and an increase in wages


  1. Hong Kong Mining History, Jackie CT Chu and Jacky SL Chan, Hong Kong Mining History, ProjecTerrae, 2015

This article was first posted on 19th December 2018.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Needle Hill Tungsten Mine
  2. Jan Hendrik Marsman 1892-1956, connection to Needle Hill Tungsten Mine
  3. Gordon Burnett Gifford Hull – Needle Hill Mine, Shing Mun Reservoir
  4. Sang Sang Mining Company – connection to Needle Hill Tungsten Mine, 1935?
  5. Marsman Hong Kong (China) Ltd – Needle Hill Tungsten Mine during 1938-1951?
  6. Needle Hill Mine – 1961 account
  7. History of Needle Hill Mine – centenary year



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