Sirius agrees shaft construction contract for mine

Red Arrows fly over the Sirius drilling rig on the North York Moors
Red Arrows fly over the Sirius drilling rig on the North York Moors
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The developer behind the £3bn North Yorkshire polyhalite mine has agreed a design and build contract with a mining firm for the construction of all the shafts.

Sirius Minerals has signed a shaft sinking contract with DMC Mining Services. A move which will accelerate the first polyhalite by up to six months, the company said.

The contract is for the construction of the four shafts required for Sirius’ polyhalite project in North Yorkshire.

Chris Fraser, managing director and CEO of Sirius, said: “Sirius continually seeks opportunities to use innovations and a commercial approach to accelerate development and unlock value.

“DMC has proven, world leading experience using Herrenknecht SBR technology on deep shafts and represents a strong partner, commercially aligned to our success.

“We are confident that they can deliver the North Yorkshire polyhalite project shafts significantly earlier than all previous expectations and we look forward to working with the team.”

Graham Buttenshaw, managing director of DMC, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Sirius on this world-class project and are confident of leveraging our leading technology and experience to accelerate development of the mine and enable Sirius to bring its sustainable multi-nutrient fertilizers to the market earlier than previously planned.”

The mine, which is set to bring around 1,000 jobs to North Yorkshire, has been named the “Woodsmith Mine”, in honour of two well-known geologists who have played a key role in the development of the site, Peter Woods and Rick Smith.

Sirius said there had ​been a two month delay ​in​ excavat​ing​ the ​Woodsmith ​mine due to ​bad​ weather​, but it is confident it can make up the ​lost ​time. Production is due to start in 2021 and the group has a budget of £2.9bn.