LGF - The Lamb'eth Walk

Benefitz Betty's picture

"The next Liaison Group Forum will take place on Monday 23 April between 1.00 – 2.30pm at Bede Hall, Sneaton Castle Centre, Whitby, YO21 3QN.

The Liaison Group Forum will meet quarterly, as a minimum, throughout the construction and post-construction period. Chaired by the Company, its membership will include representatives from the National Park Authority, parish and town councils, local residents and wider community stakeholder representation as appropriate..."


Matters Arising: Local Employment - Sirius has an operational target of 80% local employment.  During construction this is expected to be 35%  and is about 45%.  Local is defined as a one hour commute as is normal industry practice.  New contractors were on site.  Sirius have been instrumental in working alongside the Skills Village and promotes its careers opprotunities on its website along with social media.  A question was raised about career opportunities/prospects being platformed in the Whitby Gazette as this was the most local & trusted media format.


Project Update:  The Woodsmith site is coming along and looking a bit tidy.  Shows two slides one November & one March.  The white buildings (actually grey)  are now green to fit in and blend with the surroundings to keep visual impacts down as much as possible. The drill rig is now off site (last weekend).   

The construction project runs from Woodsmith to Teesport.  

At Woodsmith the diaphragm wall cutters are continuing to 60m around the shafts.  Shows Foreshaft & Sunken Headfames slide.  DMC using more modern technology that is safer & faster.  Shows vertical digger and technology of mechanical cutting.   Most of the groundworks at Woodsmith are complete.  DMC are the main contractors on site.  Activites are also ongoing at Lockwood Beck & Wilton.  

At Wilton end the fences are up, contractors being engaged with power on site.

Strabag to tunnel from Wilton to LWB are mobilising at the moment. Offices on site at Wilton within a couple of weeks. 


At LWB the pad is prepared to start shaft down at the site.   A decision to grout rather than freeze the shaft at LWB is under consideration & a 20m deep hole is being constructed ready for the TBM.   Power utility at LWB over the next few months. 

Q:  At Woodsmith - the concrete bunkers (down to 60m) - are these to be interconnected?  Please explain the VSR's operation?

A:  No they are stand alone. Also the VSR's no men working underneath.  They weigh a lot and will be held up with ropes.  Shifting the earth up as they dig. (See website : https://www.herrenknecht.com/en/products/core-products/mining/shaft-bori...)

Q:  Wilton is flat. How will the tunnel start here?

A:  Dig 20m deep with roadheaders, create a second pillar wall.  The TBMs are between 80m to100m long

Q:  A 45m Winding Tower at LWB? 

Q:  What if the VSR's can't cut through hard rocks? Will they get in the way of the drill & blast?

A:  The drilling (rig) suggests it is very unlikely we find hard rock that the VSR cannot handle.  In the event that we do the VSR is hoisted up whilst drill & blast is carried out.

Q:  How long is the conveyor belt at Wilton? 

A:  The processing is above ground at Wilton.  An outline PA is with R&CBC at the moment.  It is 3km from Wilton to Port for the conveyor belt.

Q:  The Winding Towers at Woodsmith?

A:  The changes in design the headgear is underground,  were only temporary no longer required.

Q:  Will the TBM's remain insitu or underground?

A:  We hope to take these out as they are quite valuable. (There are 3No TBM's 2No SDR's (shaft rolling roundheaders) & 1No VSM, the underwater version)


Planning Conditions

There is a current non-material amendment to the power supply with National Power grid this is to be finalised within a week or two.

Q: Park & Ride?

A:  Did have permission near Sainsbury, that option not taking forward.

The S106 - Briony's Presentation

As before with some updates ..

The S106 money is not for regular or statutory work of the NYMNPA. 

Historic Features - on the Archeological front a PHd Student form Leeds University is working alongside the Authority to enhance this area.  The most exposed geology is Jurassic.

Enhance Tranquility - eg Dark Skies, Coast to Coast Walk,

Landscape - enhance ecology anywhere in the Park or AOI

Work to date includes the defining of the path at Lilla Moor - part of the Lyke Wake Walk, by adding gravel to boggy sections.  Much more work to do eg Lilla Cross (the oldest standing stone in the National Park) and further along the Lyke Wake walk.

At Rosedale - 'The Land of Iron' work started last week with replacing 750m of the five bar fence. Further at Rosedale old mine workings we are creating two attenuation ponds for old mine water discharge interception, all to be eco planted with rushes & reeds.

At Fylingdales the Old St Stephen's Church we have repaired & redecorated all the windows and note there is further work to do here. 

Year One - Other projects include : A bridleway at Boggle Hole; Woodland restoration at Harwood Dale; an information panel at Littlebeck; improve the Pegasus Crossing at A171.

Woodland Creation : We have found some landowners willing to work with us for Woodland Pasture & Dense Woodland preparing for Autumn, with 1ha planted at Danby with 12ha so far in the ground to deliver.

Year I : Tourism Contributions - mainly advertising of the Park and AOI promoting Yorkshire as a visitor destination.  Working with Visit England/Britain to come up with future marketing plans.

Local Tourism Projects supported to date are HM Bark Endeavour & The Grapes.  Other projects are very welcome to apply.  The annual funding runs May to May.

Year II : Projects tabled include:  Maybeck - a circular walk;  Lyke Wake Walk - more path; Cleveland Way - strengthen the bridge at Boggle Hole; Mulgrave Tunnels - engineering & ecology surveys with a possibility of re-opening for visitor recreation;  Harwood Dale - habitat enhancement... (others on the list that fleeted by)

Target Core Policy DL = 30ha.     Also to include a seed collection volunteer scheme with a nursery at Castle Howard.

Q:  Lilla Howe - legend says he threw himself in front of the King's horse ... these are massive benefits directly from the mine?

A:  Yes a lot of good works done with the (s106) money.  These have been calculated as compensation & mitigation as part of the planning approval for the mine.

Response:  Absolutely delighted all these works are getting done.

Q:  A bit dubious about the contribution to Welcome to Yorkshire?

A:  £200K pa over five years to promote the Park & AOI.


Matt Parsons :  The figures - to date £2.5mil has been forwarded to the National Park S106 including £1.5m (NYMNPA), £855k to NYCC (training) £214k to R&CBC (training)

Q:  About this money being wasted on local authority appointed consultants? (eg £400k to consultant for Park & Ride, NYCC road improvements etc etc)

A:  The intention is to spend it to enhance and compensate.  All projects are measured and reviewed.

Q:  Residents of Helredale Road Association - traffic management?  (speed enforcement, safety, narrow footpath at side of Cemetry, pedestrian crossing in worng place, laybys, thumps over the bumps etc etc)

A:   All these concerns will be directed to the Traffic Management Liaison Group.  The volume of traffic in the PP was 126 hgv per day ie 63 each way.  So far an average of 40 each way.


In the last quarter there have been four parish meetings with more scheduled in.  We have visited lots of schools & education outreach is continuing.   The exhibition at Pannet Park Museum continues until the end of May and is free to residents of Whitby.  This project is not just about building a mine but is a significant local contribution to building global food security. 


Q:  Will the exhibition be taken elsewhere?

A:  Possibly ...

A Night Boat to Cairo?






Mind, tis better than 'Orville'

Three cheers.





Benefitz Betty's picture

SXX: Corporate Responsibility

"Our main priority is to ensure that everyone connected with our business returns home safely every day, whether they are a member of staff, a contractor or a member of the public. Safety is our number one objective and we continually do our utmost to make every element of our business safer...."

Indeed am just looking at a 'site' van with somin interesting on the dash board..




Ooh Bauer have moved next door.

About two trees...

Three short planks.

Hi Ho .... tis off to work they go.

Benefitz Betty's picture

SXX: CRU & Knotweed

"The world is watching as Sirius Minerals’ unprecedented 10 Mt/y Woodsmith polyhalite mine, under development in northern England, approaches its final stage of capital raising.

As part of our Potassium Sulphates and Potassium Nitrate Market Outlook, this insight considers the multi-nutrient product’s current market position, looks at the potential impact of large volumes of previously little used product on the fertilizer industry and we consider what is an achievable sales price.

Introduction to Polyhalite
Polyhalite is a mineral currently mined in small volumes, but one which has accumulated significant interest over recent years as large-scale projects look to attract funding and ‘disrupt’ the fertilizer market. A hydrated potassium, calcium and magnesium sulphate evaporite mineral, polyhalite historically attracted little interest from exploration or fertilizer companies due to its lower potassium content and solubility compared to other potassium-bearing ores.

However, the industry has continued to evolve and Israel Chemicals Limited’s United Kingdom subsidiary (ICL UK) now distributes around 500 kt/y from its Boulby mine as a direct application fertilizer or bulk-blend/compound NPK additive.

Polyhalite’s characteristics as a fertilizer
Polyhalite’s composition is most similar to the other major potassium magnesium sulphate (“SOPM”) fertilizers: langbeinite, schöenite and Patentkali®. All are marketed as low-chloride potash fertilizers with additional magnesium and sulphur components. ICL UK markets polyhalite as a multi-nutrient, low-chloride fertilizer under the brand name Polysulphate®. Sirius plans to market its polyhalite as POLY4®. Both product’s value components are:

Primary nutrients: 14% K2O

Secondary nutrients: 6% MgO, 19% S, 17% CaO..."




Benefitz Betty's picture

The British Tunnelling Society

"The opportunities presented by a world-class fertiliser resource, close to a deep-water port, in a stable and developed country are substantial. The extraordinary steps taken to protect the local environment with the mine-site and the majority of the transport route located in a National Park, have presented a number of challenges that had to be solved by the team at Sirius Minerals, together with their engineering and construction partners.

A small group of thoughtful and committed individuals therefore navigated these challenges to the point where these solutions are in place and ready to commence construction of the Mineral Transport System in early 2018.

To preserve the character and tranquillity of the North York Moors, the conveyor will be routed more than 300m below the surface in a tunnel. This combined conveyor and tunnel form the minerals transport system (MTS) and ensures that none of the ore sees daylight from the moment it is mined 1,500m below the ground to the point where it arrives on the Wilton industrial complex on Teesside.

The presentation by Sirius Minerals Chief Development Officer, Simon Carter, is the story of this journey to date and the vision of the business to become one of the world's leading producers of multi-nutrient fertilizers."




The TBM's were ordered when DMC signed... ready to go later this year.  



Captain Qahn's picture

SXX: 'It' & 'If'


"Sirius Minerals builds a business on fertile ground
The FTSE 250 company says riches lie buried beneath the North York Moors

Some said that it couldn't be done, others argued long and loud that it shouldn't, but as spring turns to summer over the North York Moors National Park, Graham Clarke is undaunted. "If you're told you can't do something, you have to prove people wrong, don't you? Obviously, we still have challenges, but as you can see it's really happening."

'It' is the construction of the biggest mine in Britain for 40 years, the last deep mine since Selby's coal pit in the 1970s and the biggest private sector investment in the north of England. And all this in an area of outstanding natural beauty, 'a special place, forged by nature', according to the park's own website. 'It', therefore, is not only one of the most important industrial projects in the region in decades, but one of the most sensitive.

Mr Clarke, operations director of Sirius Minerals, finds himself on the front line of a battle that though long since won is still, in its own way, being fought. On one level, the £2.2 billion scheme, in which polyhalite  - a form of organic fertiliser similar to potash - will be mined from a thick slab of rock deep underground and stretching out beneath the North Sea, sounds if not simple then at least familiar. On another, the need to minimise the environmental impact adds hugely to the project's complexity.

It means, for example, burying virtually all equipment below ground, including the headframes, the characteristic structures that stand above traditional mine shafts, to help to ensure that the site, perched on a hilltop and surrounded by trees and mounds of earth, will be virtually invisible except from a helicopter.

It means, too, that next month work will start on a billion-dollar, 37km-long, 6m-wide tunnel stretching away from the mine site near Whitby to transfer the polyhalite, rich in potassium, sulphur, calcium and magnesium, out of sight via an underground conveyor belt to a giant industrial park on Teesside, where it will be processed into pellets and stored before export by ship.

Polyhalite's principal use is as a crop fertiliser and the biggest potential customers are overseas in North America, China and east Asia, where growing populations and rising incomes are driving steady increases in food consumption.

If part of the business is focused far overseas, much of it is squarely on the doorstep. Once operational in 2021, the mine will support 1,000 direct and 1,500 indirect jobs and Mr Clarke, an industry veteran, is quick to emphasise that £we have a mining heritage in the UK and most important, it's an opportunity to create jobs for decades.

The project has been welcomed widely on Teesside, in particular, because it will help to revive a heavily industrialised area.

If part of the business is focused far overseas, much of it is squarely on the doorstep. Once operational in 2021, the mine will support 1,000 direct and 1,500 indirect jobs and Mr Clarke, an industry veteran, is quick to emphasise that "we have a mining heritage in the UK and most important, it's an opportunity to create jobs for decades."

The project has been welcomed widely on Teesside, in particular, because it will help to revive a heavily industrial area where one of the top local employers, the Redcar steelworks, collapsed into bankruptcy in 2015. Sirius is in talks to purchase some of the former British Steel site to give it better access to the riverfront. Loading equipment once used to unload metallurgical coal for steelmaking at Redcar could be repurposed to load polyhalite on to cargo ships for export.

Chris Fraser, chief executive of Sirius and the driving force behind the scheme, claims that it will tap the biggest and best-quality polyhalite deposit found anywhere in the world. Moreover, with production costs of $30 to $40 per tonne and long-term supply contracts already signed at $145 per tonne, Sirius believes that it will be highly profitable.

That potential has helped Sirius, now a FTSE 250 company, to raise £1.2 billion to pay for the construction of the two 1,500m shafts at the mine site, including £245 million from Gina Rinehart, the mining magnate who is Australia's richest woman. The company needs a further £2 billion from banks this year and is seeking government debt guarantees to fund the next stage on construction.

Once completed in 2021, the mine will be the deepest in Britain and by 2024 Sirius hopes to be producing ten million tonnes of polyhalite a year, rising to 20 million tonnes by 2026. The company claims that the deposit is big enough to last at least a century and expects robust demand, especially from the Far East.

Opponents of the scheme may have lost the planning fight in 2015, when permission finally was granted for the Woodsmith mine, but they remain critical. According to Tom Chadwick, chairman of the North York Moors Association: "Building a mine of this scale in the North York Moors is simply at odds with the whole purpose of national parks. National parks should have the highest levels of landscape protection, and developments in these protected areas must have regard for their conservation and recreational purposes."

So the battle for hearts and minds goes on. In the early days, Sirius executives based themselves at a local farmhouse and went from village to village speaking to people in pubs to persuade them of the scheme£s benefits. Now, as well as providing much-needed jobs and payments for local landowners, Sirius has pledged to plough 0.5 per cent of revenues into a foundation to invest in local community projects. It estimates that this could be worth £14 million per year.

"Gareth Edmunds, external affairs director of Sirius, argues that the project is also at an advantage because it is a fertiliser mine. This, he says, "is an agricultural community and people understand what potash is and why we need more of it."

Indeed, another large former ICI mine has been producing potash since 1969 at nearby Boulby. Employing about a thousand people, it is far more visible than the Sirius project will be once built, a fact that has helped to win over local support.
Mr Clarke, meanwhile, is in no doubt of its long-term prospects. "I can retire in a few years time and be proud," he says. "The mine's going to be here for at least 100 years."


Wot no 'Theme' ...



Captain Black's picture

SXX: 'Revolving'


"Developing the mine to extract the material from 1.5km below the moors with minimal impact requires some complex ground engineering solutions.The geotechnical challenges and programme changes to bring the mine on stream by early 2021 – six months earlier than originally planned – mean that these solutions are still evolving...

"The production and service shafts at Woodsmith will extend from the surface to 60m below ground level as 36m diameter chambers with a central 9m diameter shaft extending to the polyhalite seam at 1.5km below ground. The MTS shaft from which the TBM will be launched will extend to 360m and connect to the production and service shafts.

The initial plan was for Bauer to construct six diaphragm wall shafts on the project to include the production and services chambers and take the production, service, MTS and Lockwood Beck shafts to120m, from where they were to be extended to 1.5km by drill and blast techniques... "

DMC are on site.

"Bauer started mobilising to site in October last year and work on the first panel started in December. It quickly became apparent that the ground conditions were not as expected.

Bauer has three cutters on the project – two MC96 machinesand an MC128...


"“At the start progress was limited to 1m at a time but now we are cutting the full depth to 60m,” says Reynolds. “Bauer’s international back up has been invaluable in resolving the problem.”

Bou Sleiman explains: “We used lots of combinations to find the right solution. We used three types of teeth with nine variations such as size, position and strength. We even develop a bespoke design for the project.

“Our production rates are now four times what they were now we have the right combination for the ground conditions.”

Nonetheless, Sirius has opted for an alternative method of construction to extend the service and production shafts to 120m, construct the MTS shaft at Woodsmith and the TBM shaft at Lockwood Beck to 100m.

Under the redesign, Careys will extend the four shafts using a vertical shaft machine (VSM) before DMC takes them to full depth.

Reynolds says that the VSM solution offers programme advantages that create synergies with the programme savings delivered by DMC.

“When we were working with AMC, the shafts were forecast to be completed by the end of 2021 but DMC’s technique has brought that forward by six months so we wanted to match those savings to bring the start of operation forward,” says Reynolds.

“The DMC technique could not be used at 60m though as the system does not have the wall support to cope with ground water. At 120m the shaft is sealed within the Whitby Mudstone.”

Carey is expected to mobilise to site by mid-Summer and will integrate with Bauer’s operation until it completes its shafts in October this year."


12th June:

"Mr Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby): If he will make an assessment of the potential contribution of the Sirius Minerals polyhalite project to the Industrial Strategy."



Captain Black's picture

The House Of Razor






"It is hoped that more than 50 seaside-themed sheep will be created by local businesses and community groups and positioned in the national park for two months from July 1 to August 31. Visitors will be encouraged to spot them and share their location using the #Seathesheep hashtag.

Many of the sheep will be located close to walking trails and cycle paths.

Susan Briggs, director of the tourism network, said: “Sheep have always been a very familiar sight throughout the national park. Centuries ago, many of the trails that are still popular with visitors today would once have been used to herd flocks as well as transporting goods, whether legal or smuggled, from ships on the coast and across the moorland to towns further inland. The Sea the Sheep campaign aims to pick up on this heritage and introduce a level of intrigue for visitors of all ages that helps lead them from the moorland to the coast."



Captain Black's picture

Myotis Myotis

"The greater mouse-eared bat has been all but extinct in this country for decades. This is the only remaining one we know of. The future of the species in Britain appears to rest with one long-lived and very distinctive individual...

"The bat has large, mouse-like ears and its feeding habits are as striking as its size. Rather than zig-zagging through darkening skies collecting flying insects, like most bats, Myotis myotis descends earthwards, flapping its wings very slowly as it covers the ground, picking up grasshoppers, crickets, dung beetles and other flightless insects as it goes. Often, it will flop on to the ground, wings outstretched to fold over its prey...

"Where it goes each spring is not known, and what it does is not known, nor which other animals, if any, it encounters. All that is known is that each winter the bat faithfully returns to its dark tunnel, where it hangs, almost motionless, for five months...

"Although a reasonably familiar sight in southern Europe, where large colonies roost in caves ...  Disturbing bats mid-hibernation can kill them. Money was also offered for dead specimens and collectors spirited individuals away...  in the late 1960s, by 1992 the species was declared extinct in Britain, the first mammal to disappear from our shores since the wolf 250 years ago...

"Bats fly beneath our radar... Against the odds, bats are surviving in our human-dominated land and, perhaps more than any other wild animal, they are constantly feeding us."



"The oldest known fossil of a bat, found in a quarry in Wyoming in 2003, is about 52.5m years old. Bats have been evolving for so long, and with so many specialised attributes, from echolocation to drastically extended forelimbs, that the order of Chiroptera – “winged hands” in Latin – accounts for one in five species of mammal. They are supremely successful animals. As one expert puts it: when you have been evolving for so long, you’ve perfected the business of being a bat. That business is becoming tricker in a human-dominated world. In older times, they were feared and despised. Modern people may be more tolerant, but even beneficent parts of society – from harvesters of renewable energy to vicars – are often hostile to bats. Energy-efficient homes seal up roof spaces where bats once roosted..."


"New roads – and the planned route of the HS2 railway – block traditional foraging routes. LED lighting is particularly disturbing for bats. Wind farms chop them up: according to a study published in 2016, researchers using sniffer dogs to find and retrieve bat carcasses calculated that 29 onshore windfarms killed 194 dead bats per month – a kill-rate that would dispatch 80,000 bats a year across Britain, without accounting for migrating bats taken out by the rapidly expanding rows of offshore turbines."

"Only 19 mammal species are longer-lived relative to their body size than humans, and all but one of these are bats. (The other is the naked mole rat.) And of these unusually durable mammals, the greater mouse-eared bat is one of the longest-lived of all: it can clock up more than 35 years. Scientists recently discovered that its longevity is probably due to the fact that, unlike most mammals, its telomeres – a string-like material at the end of its chromosomes – do not shorten with age. They hope further insights from the unique biology of Myotis myotis may one day help humans live longer."




Hi Ho ... tis off to work they go.



Captain Black's picture

SXX: YCR & the ABC

"... Many of these roles will be with the company’s contractors, including DMC Mining Services, Strabag and Careys Civil Engineering (CCE), who joined staff from Sirius at the events.  Scarborough Construction Skills Village and Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Routes to Employment Service were also in attendance to offer bespoke training advice, C.V. guidance and employment skills support.

Pat Grenham, Senior Project Manager at Careys Civil Engineering said:

“The standard of attendees at the events was exceptional.  We have already employed seven local people as a result and we look forward to welcoming others to the team in the future.”

Pauline Garnett, UK Director of Human Resources for DMC Mining Services, Sirius’ shaft sinking contractor, said:

“There is a high level of industrial skill in the local area, and these events attracted some excellent talent. We have been delighted by the calibre of applicants and have shortlisted some of those in attendance at the jobs fairs for interview.”

Jason Fawcett, Tunnel Construction Manager for Strabag, who are constructing the first tunnel drive of Sirius’ mineral transport system, was also at the events.

He said:

“It was very encouraging to see the level of enthusiasm and skill on offer. The job fairs have given us a strong understanding of the wide range of expertise and transferable skills on offer in the area.

We are already interviewing candidates who we met at the events and will continue to do so."

Sirius Minerals’ £3.2bn polyhalite project involves the construction of an underground mine near Whitby with a 23 mile mineral transport tunnel to a processing plant and port at Teesside. In addition to its construction roles, the project is set to create approximately 1,000 jobs in operations and a further 1,450 in the supply chain.

Matt Parsons, External Affairs General Manager for Sirius, said:

“There has been a tremendous amount of interest in the jobs available within our project and it’s fantastic that more local people are joining the team.

Whilst we can’t guarantee everyone that attended will get a job, we hope that people found the sessions informative about the roles that will be created and how to access relevant training and support.”

To find out more about the job roles on offer with Sirius and its contractors, and to express an interest in working on the project, visit: www.siriusminerals.com/constructionjobs "


Harringtons ;-)




Captain Qahn's picture

Aye Spartacus?


"Argus Europe Fertilizer 2018 will take place on 24-26 October, in Athens, Greece. The event builds on the success of 2017, which gathered over 700 market participants from across 400 companies and 60 countries – making it the best fertilizer event in Europe for networking and doing business.

Delegates from across the supply chain will participate over 3 days, including key decision makers from trading firms, producers, distributors, logistics, bagging and equipment providers..."

Gold Sponsors



"In case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight :)"

Zzzzzz ....



Captain Black's picture

SXX: 'World Cup'

"20 June 2018  Sirius Minerals Plc

POLY4 Supply Agreement - Nigeria

§ 7 year supply agreement for POLY4 with ITL Trading, one of the largest suppliers of fertilizer to Nigeria

§ Pricing terms consistent with the Company's existing agreements

§ Company's aggregate peak contracted sales volume increased to 4.7 Mtpa

Sirius Minerals Plc ("Sirius" or the "Company") announces the signing of a binding take or pay offtake agreement ("the Agreement") to supply POLY4 to Intercontinental Trade DMCC Dubai ("ITL Trading"). 

ITL Trading is a global trading company with an active presence in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  It specializes in supplying Nigeria and West African clients with globally sourced products and services that are critical to laying the foundations for a modern economy.  ITL Trading has been in business for over 25 years, and is headquartered in Dubai.  It is one of the largest suppliers of fertilizer into Nigeria, and through related companies has access to distribution and logistics infrastructure including storage, port concessions and NPK blending facilities. 

The supply agreement is a seven-year agreement from first production, for volumes of POLY4 increasing to 350,000 tonnes per annum in year four and provides for exclusive marketing rights into Nigeria.  The agreement has a pricing mechanism linked to a relevant product benchmark and is consistent with the Company's existing portfolio of agreements.  Taking the Agreement into consideration, the Company's peak contracted sales volumes has increased from 4.4 Mtpa to 4.7 Mtpa.

Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, comments:

"Africa is a huge potential market for POLY4 and we are very pleased to establish our initial footprint in Nigeria, which is the largest market in West Africa.  Nigeria is positioned as the key market for fertilizer growth in the region and we believe ITL Trading will be a fantastic long-term partner for the Company.   

"We continue to make good progress on all aspects of our project and are in active discussions with potential customers in other key markets such as Europe, India and Brazil in order to support the stage 2 financing."

Preetpal Walia, Managing Director of ITL Trading, comments:

"The Nigerian fertilizer market is undergoing strong growth and there is tremendous potential for multi-nutrient products which can deliver balanced fertilization.  We see POLY4 as being an ideal product to meet this opportunity and are very pleased to be entering into this long-term arrangement."




Captain Black's picture

SXX: The Dug Out


"9:39am 22nd June 2018

Major works begin today on the first part of a 23 mile long tunnel to transport fertilizer underground between North Yorkshire and Teesside, ready for export around the world.

It comes after Sirius Minerals plc signed a seven-year 'binding take or pay' deal for the supply of polyhalite to Nigeria.

Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, will officially break ground for the tunnel at Sirius Minerals’ site at Wilton International, close to the former Redcar steelworks.

Sirius Minerals’ project is one of the most significant infrastructure projects in the United Kingdom and is the largest private sector investment in the North of England. Its 4.9 metre-wide tunnel will sit at an average depth of 250 metres below ground and carry the multi-nutrient fertilizer polyhalite from the company’s Woodsmith Mine site near Whitby, which is currently under construction, to a purpose-built materials handling facility and harbour at Teesside. The tunnel will have a high-capacity conveyor belt in it that will be capable of transporting 20 million tonnes of polyhalite per year.

The innovative high efficiency underground system is a low impact, low carbon method for transporting large volumes of mineral to the port. Common industry practice would be to transport on either by road or rail – this major investment by Sirius removes that impact from operations. As well as the sustainability benefits, it will deliver an extremely cost-efficient transport system for the company when it is mining polyhalite that will last for generations to come.

The tunnel for Sirius’ mineral transport system (MTS) is being built in three sections and it passes through one consistent and well known rock strata. The first section from Teesside is being built by one of the world’s leading tunnel construction firms Strabag, which recently worked on the world’s longest railway tunnel – the 35-mile Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Alps in Switzerland.

Today’s event represents the start of the construction to prepare the site for the first drive of the underground mineral transport system between Wilton and an intermediate shaft at Lockwood Beck. It is an important milestone in Sirius Minerals’ project, to mine and export a vast resource of natural fertilizer called polyhalite. Polyhalite is a naturally occurring fertilizer containing potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium – four of the six key nutrients that all plants need to grow. It can help farmers to increase productivity and can lead to better, more balanced fertilizer practices.

Construction work is already well under way at the Woodsmith Mine site near Whitby where two 1,600m deep shafts are being sunk to the polyhalite and the development of the other end of the infrastructure for this tunnel system.

A recent report by independent analysts Quod found the project will deliver decades of major economic benefits for the UK and have a transformative impact on the local economy.

At full production the project will add £2.3 billion a year to UK GDP; create over 1,000 long-term, high-skilled, high-paid jobs; generate exports of £2.5 billion a year, reducing the UK’s trade deficit by 7%; and make annual tax contributions worth £472 million a year to pay for vital public services.

Ahead of the ceremony on the Wilton site, Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse said:

“Through the development of its Woodsmith Mine, Sirius Minerals is becoming a global player within the Northern Powerhouse set to create thousands of new jobs and provide a major economic boost to the Northern Powerhouse economy.

It’s the rapidly growing Northern Powerhouse with advanced manufacturers, makers and innovators like Sirius Minerals who are boosting exports from our region while helping us deliver a strong and resilient economy which is fit for the future.”

Sirius Minerals’ new processing facility and harbour will sit adjacent to the South Tees Development Corporation site that seeks to regenerate area, including the former Redcar steelworks site, and potentially create up to 25,000 jobs.

The Sirius project is expected to permanently add up to 17% to the economic output of North Yorkshire and increase the size of the Tees Valley economy by 18% and has the potential to attract new investment to the area through the creation of a new industrial cluster to support operations at Wilton and position Teesside as a major component in the important global fertilizer industry.

Ben Houchen, Conservative Mayor of the Tees Valley, said:

“The ground breaking represents an enormous vote of confidence in Teesside and the development potential of the neighbouring South Tees Development Corporation site.

The global vision of Sirius is exactly what is needed and will help to attract new investment to the area.”

Chris Fraser, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sirius Minerals Plc, commented:

“It is an exciting time for the company as we continue to make excellent progress across the project.

The life of the mine will span multiple generations, so the facilities that we are building here today will continue to provide jobs and attract investment to Teesside for many years to come.

The mineral transport system is a clear example of Sirius’ commitment to delivering the most sustainable project possible, from both an environmental and operating cost perspective.”

Briony Fox, Director of Polyhalite Projects at the North York Moors National Park Authority said:

“It’s great to see work starting on the tunnel. There couldn’t be a better solution to transport large amounts of polyhalite from the mine site to Wilton without having an impact on local roads and people’s enjoyment of the National Park.”

Thomas Birtel, CEO of Strabag, said:

“We are delighted to be breaking ground at Wilton and are proud to be involved in helping to regenerate an area with such a rich industrial heritage”.






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SXX: Nothing Ventured


"Briony Fox, the authority’s Director of Polyhalite Projects, said of the project:

“The Endeavour Experience has the potential to be an extremely valuable tourism product for the North York Moors National Park and the Yorkshire Coast as a whole with significant regional, national and international interest, appealing to both a domestic and overseas market.
Estimated visitor figures are in the region of 150,000 per year, with key target markets including day-trippers, families, school groups, local and international visitors and corporate guests.
The attraction aims to boost the tourism economy to Whitby by establishing a new international attraction and creating 20 jobs in year one.”
The project will be given just short of £44,000. Scarborough Council has also been given approximately £50,000 to promote the forthcoming Cook 250 festival, which will take place in Whitby next month – making 250 years since Cook’s first expedition to the South Seas.
The meeting in Helmsley was also told that the park had exceeded its tree planting target for the first year.


More than 11,000 have been planted in the first 12 months as part of the carbon offset measures.

Councillors welcomed the progress made and hoped for similar success for 1018/19.
Cllr Caroline Patmore said:
“I do think that people in the national park and its visitors do know that they are benefiting from Sirius’ mine as many considered it would be a scar on the landscape.”
On Friday, work started on the 23-mile long tunnel, which will transport the fertiliser between the Whitby mine and the handling facility in Redcar..."




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'A Tale of Two Bogs'