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North Yorkshire Polyhalite Project

Dr. Sauer & Partners provided commercial support, SCL design verification and functioned as a mediator between Sirius Minerals’ mining and construction team.
Estimated cost: Commencement:
April 01, 2019
Completion date:
October 31, 2019
YO11 3ZB
United Kingdom
Technical data:
Geology description:

Most of the MTS is developed within the Redcar Mudstone Formation. It comprises alternating layers of silty mudstone and clayey siltstones with subordinated thin beds of limestone and sandstone.

Bands of ironstone nodules and fossil shells as well as pyrite are present in places. Multiple major fault systems were identified that cut the MTS alignment. 

Geology types:
Bid cost: Final cost:
£4.2 billion GBP
Service areas:
Construction methods:
Tunnel length:

North Yorkshire holds one of the largest, high grade polyhalite reserves worldwide. It is located within the North York Moors National Park, ca. 1800m below surface. Once processed, this mineral functions as an organic fertilizer to boost harvest. Sirius Minerals plc are currently developing the infrastructure to mine the polyhalite. This operation requires deep shafts to access the mineral body but also demands an extensive mass transport system (MTS) to keep the impact on the National Park to a minimum. Therefore, at ca. 350m below surface, a series of SCL tunnels link the deep shafts to a conveyor belt system, which again connects the mining operation via a 37km TBM tunnel to its material handling facility.

Project overview
Woodsmith mine site close to Whitby