First Sirius Minerals TBM set to arrive13 February 2019
Great Britain – The first Herrenknecht TBM for the York Potash Project’s Mineral Transport System (MTS) tunnel is undergoing final checks at the factory is due to arrive in February 2019. The 23-mile (37km) tunnel and will be excavated in three separate drives by Austrian contractor Strabag. The first of which will stretch for 8 miles, with the remaining 15 coming following subsequent TBM launches in 2020.
Geology in the region is Redcar Mudstone, the tunnel’s internal diameter will be 4.9m and lining thickness will be 350mm (segmental lining).
A spokesperson said, “When complete, the tunnel will transport up to 20 million tonnes a year of polyhalite ore on a conveyor belt from the mine, to a purpose-built processing and shipping facility in the shadows of the old Redcar Steelworks, for distribution around the world. A tunnel was chosen as the transport solution to avoid impacting the local landscape and will have no impact on the ground above, sitting at an average of 250-metres below ground level.”
Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius said: “The assembly of our first tunnel boring machine represents an exciting milestone for the company and the region. With around 1,000 people currently employed across all of our sites, the team working to make this project a success continues to grow as we deliver this world class project. We expect to create hundreds more skilled construction roles in the coming months to help build our mineshafts, tunnel and mineral handling facility.”
Sirius Minerals said it expects to reach the polyhalite seam in 2021 and to be producing 10Mt of fertiliser per annum by 2024.