The Directors of Sirius Minerals Plc have announced the new Mineral Transport System for its York Potash Project . This will significantly increase project value, reduce the construction footprint and environmental impact of the project and deliver a more efficient and sustainable operation.
Since the deferral of the Company’s mine planning application in 2013 all aspects of the project have been re-evaluated to address concerns raised and to further progress its long standing commitment to reduce impacts wherever possible. Efforts to reduce the impact of the pipeline – specifically around avoiding designated sites during construction and building in extra production contingency and operational redundancy measures – resulted in a concept with an increased capital cost, greater level of above ground infrastructure and increased construction activity.
Following a detailed review by external engineering consultants, the Company has decided to replace its previously proposed pipeline scheme for transporting polyhalite between the mine and the port with the MTS. The MTS will consist of a series of linked conveyors located within a mining style tunnel located mostly at depths of around 120 to 360 metres, moving product from the mine site,in the North Yorks National park,to the granulation facilities to be built at Wilton on Teesside.
The con8.struction of the MTS is planned to be completed by five linked mining tunnels or roadways, each of approximately 7.5 kilometres in length. These will be accessed from either end of the route and from three intermediate access points where shafts will be sunk to the MTS depth. This method of construction removes the need for widespread excavations which were a dominant feature of the pipeline construction and the largest area of construction disturbance for the whole project.
The York Potash project is aiming at commencing production in 2018.