That Old Mine

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"With the company now having submitted an application to the North York Moors Park Authority for permission to continue mining operations for a further 25-years, consultation events are being held throughout this month to explain the proposals to local people.

The current planning permission which has been in place since 1968 expires in 2023.

Following the successful transition which saw the mine become the world’s first and only producer of the ground-breaking multi nutrient mineral polyhalite, the planning application is the next phase in the ‘Building Boulby’s Future’ strategy."

Storage ...

"Boulby in the News ... :

Best not mention Kryptonite.

About that picket fence...

An Agenda.





Captain Black's picture

'Revolutionary Mineral'

One more for the Collection ;-P

"Boulby mine has announced record-breaking production figures for November...

"The mine hoisted and processed more than 75,000 tonnes in November with "30 hours to spare", putting it "well on track" towards its target of hitting a million tonnes next year and up to three millions tonnes by 2030..."

"Andrew Fulton, general manager and vice president of ICL Boulby, said: "This has been a vital year for everyone involved with Boulby - the workforce at the mine, our distribution and processing terminal at Teesport and all those involved in marketing and developing a growing range of polyhalite-based products.

“It is their united effort which enabled us to reach our November hoist target of 75,000 tonnes with 30 hours to spare.

"Achieving the rapid progress we have made throughout the year has involved everyone being prepared to meet the challenges of accepting new operating techniques and processes, coupled with strong support and investment from our parent company.

“As the world’s first and only polyhalite mine, we have learned many lessons in developing the potential of this revolutionary mineral which means we are in a strong position to move forward in securing the future of our business, providing valuable jobs and continuing to make a major contribution to the East Cleveland area and the wider Tees Valley...”

"Potash had been mined for more than 40 years at the East Cleveland site.

Rival firm Sirius Minerals is building a Teesside polyhalite processing plant and a multi-billion pound mine several miles south of Whitby."

Down Periscope... ;-))

Mind over Matter.


'Neighbours from Hell'

ICL planning documents:

A lack of precision : 2 of 34

Importing MOP for processing

Alternative site for processing in Teesside

Smoke & environmental impacts

Further information required on decommissioning.

The Good bit:

"Sirius is actively marketing POLY4 in the UK and significantly, signed a ten-year exclusive distribution agreement in April 2019 with BayWa AG covering Europe, including the UK. The agreement provides for a guaranteed minimum volume of POLY4, ramping up to 2.5 Mtpa in year five. Cefetra Ltd, based in the UK and Ireland and a subsidiary of BayWa AG, is a significant business in the country’s agri-food sector and will market POLY4 throughout the UK. Sirius can provide more details about its approach to the UK market if required.Notwithstanding this, no quantified account of UK need for polyhalite (orother product) is provided as part of the application,beyond a few paragraphs in the Planning Statement. Again, by comparison, Sirius’ submission was supported by a comprehensive report (CRU Polyhalite Market Study, April 2014) which considered the agronomic and economic need for polyhalite. As an important part of the MDT, NYMNPA should request that an equivalent assessment is provided by CPL to ensure that the UK need for the proposed products are fully understood. As a point of detail, we note that paragraph 5.3.17 of the Planning Statement states that production of 500,000 tonnes per year, targeted at the UK market, with a 30% / 70% split between Polysulphate and Potashplus, would see ‘at least 55% of the UK’s potash requirements supplied using polyhalite from Boulby mine...’. This would appear to be a considerable exaggeration, as the 55% figure includes the 175,000 tonnes of MOP that would have to be importedto, rather than produced by the Boulby Mine, in order to produce Potashplus. We also note that, whilst the Planning Statement is based on the assertion that Boulby Mine has access to a large extent of additional minerals resource, it is not clear whether the stated polyhalite resource of 600 million tonnes has been calculated by the standards defined by the JORC code."

The landowner leases are up for renewal... P34

I feel a triology coming on ...

Don't spose they do refunds :-0

Ohm ...



'Quantum Entanglement'

"you can’t take it with you."

"Harvey, an American artist based in Berlin, has been investigating surveillance technology since creating cv dazzle in 2011. He told the Observer that dazzle was a technique rather than a pattern. “It has to be a meandering, evolving strategy,” he said. “The lifespan of any strategy seems to be… I don’t know for sure, but one, two maybe three years.”

The Milky Wait

"The Mine Analogue Research (MINAR) events are held over a fortnight each year at the Boulby Underground Laboratory at Boulby Mine.

This year scientific researchers from across Europe will join those from NASA in the United States and the Kalam Centre in India as they develop technology and science for the exploration of the Moon and Mars.

A team from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories will use a newly-created “Mars pond” in the laboratory’s Mars Yard to test new technology for the search for life on Mars.

A model of the Mars Rover will be guided to the site, take samples from the water and return for NASA scientists to carry out tests and studies as they continue the search for life on Mars.

Such experiments are vital to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars.

Also during the MINAR 8 fortnight: - A team from Sweden will test a full-size planetary exploration rover prototype designed to sniff gases and map underground spaces for exploration of Mars and mine safety on earth"


"At a depth of 1.1km Boulby lab at Boulby mine is one of the best locations in the world for underground science – with studies ranging from astrophysics (the search for Dark Matter) to studies of geology, geophysics, climate and the environment.

It also offers unparalleled opportunities to study rare forms of microbial life that live in the deep, dark and salty environment of the mine."

"The remote nature of the mine’s caverns and the presence of microbial life make it an excellent site for scientists wanting to develop equipment for searching for life on other planets.

The Boulby Underground Lab is Funded by the UK government’s Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)."

"One frosty winter morning, at the start of 1637, a sailor presented himself at the counting house of a wealthy Dutch merchant and was offered a hearty breakfast of fine red herring.

The sailor noticed an onion - or so he thought - lying on the counter. According to Charles Mackay, writing in Scotland 200 years later, he pinched it."

Semper Augustus.

"A trial was scheduled for June 22, 2020, with a pre-trial review taking place on June 5."

"They all relate to the health and safety of employees and "non-employees" working with "mining machines and shuttle cars underground".

One charge alleges that suitable risk assessments were not carried out."

"it's like a bunch of 1920's comic book villains got together and formed a band."


"Nearly 75 years after Roswell, the possibility that we are not alone in the universe is once again the talk of mainstream politics."

""It was so new, they were actually still welding one corner of the cage before we got in.

"That struck me - there was a glowing orange light on the cage, as it cooled.

"It arrived at the bottom much more quickly than you would expect a 4,000 ft drop to take.

"To see the size of the tunnels, the noise of the fans, the machinery, to witness something completely different and new - it was an amazing experience.""

"But a miner's life isn't for everyone.  Job opportunities across the area were far 'more buoyant' back in the day, he remembers.

This was a time of "bell-bottom flares, platform boots" - and the "Ford Capri 1600 GT XLR".  "It's an age you can't imagine now," he says, "you had 25,000 workers at the steelworks, the chemical works.

"The Olefins cracker would light up the sky.  "New people would ride the cage to the pit bottom, get out and say 'I don't like this'.

"They'd get back in the cage, never to be seen again.""

Is it Tockworth Beck or the Plantation next ...?

""Badinage is something that keeps everybody going.  "It can be difficult, you have easier days and harder days."

"The team spirit and bonding pulls you through."

""There were machines nobody had seen before; the ones today are 125 tonnes and nine metres long.

"One of the things I remember most in the days when we were blasting underground was everything shaking in an unbelievable way. "It was shocking, you could feel the impact through your boots."

As he began to learn more about geology, it became "even more absorbing".

"It's a snapshot, a geological timescale back to the days before dinosaurs."

""The evaporites down there are 250 million years old. "When you ride the cage down that shaft, you take a journey through time, to when everything was just a desert.

"Fluids were dehydrating faster than they were being deposited." The giant seam of minerals mined at Boulby is probably the largest in the world, stretching across the North Sea into Europe.

Germany still mines the same kind of evaporites that ICL Boulby once mined."

""It's a piece of art that is functional, it can be sat on and also provides a surface for a picnic.

"The bait table is a place of community, when the miners have worked their shift and they come back to rest.""

""We have some very capable individuals," Peter adds, "who are making the future of the business their number one objective.""

Do you own digging.. ;-)