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Another Step Forward for Whitby Potash Mine

Bran Sands animation

1:12pm 11th December 2017

Sirius Minerals has completed the purchase of the Bran Sands site on Teesside that lies adjacent to the former Redcar steelworks site. 

The land will be home to its harbour facilities and a conveyor system as part of its £2.2bn Woodsmith mine development to extract polyhalite, a multi-nutrient fertilizer near Whitby.

bran sands

The mine, described by a government minister in February this year as a “project of national importance,” is currently under construction near Whitby.  The whole operation will create over 2,500 jobs and £2.5bn of annual exports at full production. 

Sirius’ project involves the construction of two deep mineshafts to access the mineral deposit, connected to a 23 mile tunnel to transport the polyhalite via conveyor belt to Wilton, where it will be processed in a new plant.  The finished ‘POLY4’ product will then be transported to a new harbour built at Bran Sands for shipping around the world. 

Construction at the Woodsmith Mine site is currently underway, with building activity in Teesside due to commence in 2019 and first production of polyhalite due by 2021.

Much of the 284 acre site, formerly owned by ICI, has been identified as a potential alternative energy or open surface storage site in the South Tees Development Corporation masterplan, and already contains a pipeline corridor and the Northumbrian Waterworks treatment facility. 

Chris Fraser, CEO of Sirius Minerals, said:

“The acquisition of Bran Sands represents another important step forward in the ongoing development of our project. Having exclusive access to our own deep water port is a huge part of the proposition for our project, giving us access to a global distribution network.  The life of the mine is expected to be over multiple generations, so the facilities that we will build here will provide jobs in and attract investment to Teesside for many years to come.”

This news represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Teesside and the development potential of the neighbouring South Tees Development Corporation site,” said Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor.  “Sirius is exactly the kind of company that we aim to attract here – one with a global vision that will grow with the local area, demonstrating the value and investment potential of South Tees.”

 

About the Project

Sirius Minerals is focused on the development of its £2.2 billion North Yorkshire polyhalite project – a state-of-the-art new mine south of Whitby and tunnel containing a conveyor belt system to transport mined polyhalite to a materials handling facility and harbour facility at Teesside.

 

At full production the Project will create over 1,000 direct jobs and a further 1,500 indirectly.  It has the potential to generate over £2 billion of exports for the country each year and generate hundreds of millions of pounds in tax payments.

 

About the environment

Sirius Minerals has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the Project is sensitive to its environment.  At the mine site, surface buildings will be limited, sunk underground and screened by existing woodland and new planting.  The Company will invest £30 million on promoting the local area, £130 million to safeguard and enhance the local landscape and over £12 million on local transport infrastructure. 

 

Project support

Throughout the successful planning stages, the Project enjoyed unprecedented and wide-ranging support from local residents, business groups, parish councils, Members of Parliament, Government ministers, Local Enterprise Partnerships, tourism bodies and education providers.  Consultation by both the Company and the planning authorities consistently showed support levels of over 90% for the Project.

 

About Sirius

Sirius Minerals Plc is the fertilizer development company focused on the development of its North Yorkshire polyhalite project.  It believes the Project represents the world’s largest high-grade known deposit of polyhalite, a multi-nutrient form of potash containing potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium.  Sirius Minerals' shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange's Main Market.  Its head office is in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.


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