“World class” mine design set to reduce visual impact

An artists impression of the potash mine support building.
An artists impression of the potash mine support building.
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“There won’t be a mine design like this in the world at the moment” says York Potash as it reveals the plans for its £1.6 billion mine near Sneaton.

The company, which today has revealed the location and design plans for the proposed potash mine, has chosen a sunken head frame concept for the vertical twin shaft design it plans to construct.

Potash mine design.'* IMAGE EMBARGOED UNTIL 7am SEPT 3

Potash mine design.'* IMAGE EMBARGOED UNTIL 7am SEPT 3

The design choice will result in very little of the operation being visible on ground level.

All that will be built above ground on the 100 hectare site will be a mine support centre, and agricultural style buildings covering the burried mine heads and pipeline load area.

The mine heads will be sunk 85 metres underground, with the shafts then descending another 2,600 metres to access polyhalite shelf.

All the potash excavated will transported to an underground loading area on site, where it will be pumped into a pipeline and taken to Teesside for processing.

Plans for the potash mine support building'* IMAGES EMBARGOED UNTIL 7am SEPT 3

Plans for the potash mine support building'* IMAGES EMBARGOED UNTIL 7am SEPT 3

The underground pipeline is set to consist to two pipes measuring 60cm in diameter and 44km long.

York Potash has confirmed it in discussions about a number of possible sites in the Teesside area for a processing plant.

Speaking about the design a York Potash spokesman said: “York Potash’s on-going engineering design work has led it to opt to use a vertical twin shaft design.

“This preferred design will greatly reduce the volumes of excavated material from the shafts as well as the mine surface area footprint.

“It will also minimise technical complexity, ultimately reducing the time needed for construction.”

Workers will access the underground mine heads via a tunnel from the mine support building, which has been designed to include a visitor centre, car parking, canteen, laydown area, work shop, laboratory, canteen, a facilities for staff welfare.

York Potash, which has mining rights for the next 140 years, expects to be extracting 14.2 million tonnes per year when the mine is in full operation.

It is estimated there is more than six billion tonnes of potash in the basin which runs under Scarborough and beneath the sea as far as Germany.

The mine will be the first potash mine in the UK for 40 years, and is expected to be major global supplier of potash - a vital ingredient for plant fertiliser.

In addition to potash, the company plans to extract and sell by-product materials including magnesium sulphate, used by farmers across the world to correct soil deficiencies, and gypsum, the primary product used to manufacture plasterboard.