Australia-based Wolf Minerals has begun extraction work at the newly opened Hemerdon tungsten mine in Devon, UK.
Digging work is expected to cost the company £130m, with production of tungsten anticipated to start in 2015.
The company is expecting to produce around 3,000t of tungsten and tin a year from the site.
Wolf Minerals civil superintendent Charlotte Wilkins was quoted by BBC as saying that it would employ local people from Plymouth for the project.
Wolf Minerals managing director Russell Clark said that the scale and specialist nature of work is already delivering significant positive economic benefits for local companies, their supply chains and the wider economy.
"There is a wealth of specialist expertise and enthusiasm in Devon and Cornwall for this project and we are very pleased to be supporting local companies and harnessing their skills to create a world class mine," Clark said.
"The Drakelands mine, Hemerdon project will create about 200 direct jobs and pump hundreds of millions of pounds into the South West and UK economies over the next decade."
The company has already signed contracts with many companies located in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset for providing equipment and infrastructure for the mine site, and for specialist professional consultancy services.
Camborne School of Mines Geology lecturer Dr Robin Shail said that Hemerdon mine will probably be the third or fourth-biggest tungsten mine in the world.
"More importantly it will probably be responsible for 3% or 4% of global tungsten production and tungsten is a very important metal," Shail said.