The usual format & usual 'friends of ' (criticals) were treated to a Project Update slide show together with some new Drone footage.
Most of which can be found on the Sirius Minerals new website: http://siriusminerals.com/about-us/
Matt Parsons talked his way through the D-Walling & bentonite plant and explained the progress & prupose of the attenuation ponds.
"Given the ground conditions at Woodsmith Mine, we have made the decision to construct diaphragm walls to a depth of -120m at each of the three shafts (production, service and MTS shafts). Bauer Technologies, part of the Bauer Group, is the specialist contractor that has been selected to undertake these works."
The service shaft dia 35m to 60m to house the winding gear. The time lapse video showed the guide walls. Bentonite was pumped in as blocks 3m x 2m x .5m (big) were extracted with a total of 134 blocks to be put into place. D-walling will continue on all shafts throughout 2018. D-walling is to protect the shaft from groundwater.
The shaft at Lockwood Beck to 160m will be using the freezing method, ie steel rods with brine (fridge style). The same method used by Boulby when it hit a lake. Main shafts will be grouted.
The drill rig investigation over the services shaft is not required over the production shaft and work should be complete in the next few weeks.
The MTS shaft was to be at 360m with the TBM components to be put together underground in the cavern. The cavern expected end of 2018.
The three TBM's required are due to arrive on sites are under procurement process with tunneling to start by the end of the 2018. Seismic testing along the MTS route was over half way done.
A veteran mining expert with experience of Boulby & Whitby people building the shafts at Boulby interjected about local employment. Having introduced the prospects of Boulby employees the two R&DC councillors continued discussion of the Boulby/ICL situation. With regards to Sirius buying out Boulby this was sidelined as media rumours and Sirius was focused on building its own project. Boulby for a long time have displayed downturn trajectories. There was room for all in the market. A lot of the guys (Boulby workers) would have transferable skills that would be considered via the usual channels of contractors and subcontractors of Sirius, ie no guarantees.
There were many local contractors (69%) on site working alongside the specialist contractors. Sirius maintains its aim for an 80% local (1 hour) workforce that would encourage respect to the local environment. Employment opportunity events in Whitby were to be announced soon. with venues booked in.
Education outreach managed by Heather King had engaged with over 8000 local young people to date was continuing including disadvantaged young people.
It was agreed that the economic advantages to the area should be measured alongside employment. This would be worked with the Parkies who were confident this would ensure the S106's outcomes were met.
Ongoing dialogue re Lockwood Beck following the S73 application with the new formal permission notices to be issued in due course.
Lighting at Woodsmith installed by AMC was under review with red lights on the cranes removed and some re-orientation of lighting (inwards/outwards) to be implemented.
Further progress of s106 monies included Church Conservation Trust windows/repairs, development of bridleways with much of Coastal footpaths improvement works underway. In December an agreed action plan to run alongside the construction/production schedule was approved to tie in with further awards/grants at end of April. The EIA recalculation of the reinstatement Bond was due next week and this would be done annually as the project progressed.
Since October six complaints had been received. Five related to HGV's (two had missed the entrance and three had gone via Ruswarp). One other related to bleepers on site vehicles. No complaints at Lockwood Beck.
The last two drop in events hosted over 260 people with an exhibition planned for Pannet Park mid February.
TORPS were ongoing and as closer to the limits required by Stage 2 funding closer commercial detail would be kept under wrap.
Stage 2 combined bank debt funding was ongoing with finalisation due later this year. The IPA-UK was involved with the whole of the stage II construction elements to be met. (All of it)
Specialist logistics management has been on site for six months with former experience in US rail and Austrailian mining and is contracted to the completion of the project.
"The team is made of an adaptable, diverse group of individuals who come from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. We push boundaries, empower one-another and are not afraid to challenge assumptions. The dedication of our staff is the reason we’ve come so far, and we are committed to providing our employees with a dynamic, inclusive and fun work environment.
As we continue the collective journey to reach our vision of becoming a world-leading producer of multi-nutrient fertilizer, we need motivated individuals to help us succeed in meeting the challenges ahead."
All good stuff.