Anglo American in process of pausing most of its work at Woodsmith mine

Mining giant Anglo American has said it is in the process of pausing most of its work on the Woodsmith mine project in Yorkshire.

Anglo Americans chief executive, Mark Cutifani, visited the Woodsmith mine site earlier this month

Anglo American has provided an update on how it is responding operationally to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anglo American’s chief executive, Mark Cutifani, said: “Anglo American’s priorities are the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and all those who interact with our business around the world.

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“We also have a clear responsibility to protect the integrity of our business and assets so that we are ready to restart and ramp up any affected operations safely and as quickly as possible once permitted to do so.

“This approach will enable us to minimise any interruption of supply to our customers and be in a position to support what will be a vital economic recovery phase for the countries in which we operate and the global economy.”

In a statement, Anglo American said: “In line with the British Government’s measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Anglo American is in the process of pausing most construction and development activity on its Woodsmith polyhalite project.

“Appropriate action is being taken to enable safe and swift resumption of work.”

Earlier this month, Mr Cutifani said he aimed to support thousands of job by pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the Yorkshire mining scheme.

The global mining company tabled a successful offer for Scarborough-based Sirius Minerals which is aiming to mine polyhalite, for use in the production of fertiliser, from its site at Sneaton, near Whitby.

Mr Cutifani said: “Anglo American brings greater certainty to the business and the development of the Woodsmith Project, building upon our long experience in the global fertiliser market covering most of the last 50 years.

"The project itself offers the prospect of sustained employment and economic stimulus for North Yorkshire and Teesside for many decades to come and, when the mine is ramped up, a boost in exports to benefit the wider British economy."