Plans for Sirius Minerals mine simplified

The Sirius Minerals mine site. Picture: Ceri Oakes.
The Sirius Minerals mine site. Picture: Ceri Oakes.

The company behind the development of Woodsmith Mine near Whitby has published revised plans for the site, designed to simplify the mine infrastructure and make the construction process more efficient.

Sirius Minerals has been discussing its proposals with the local planning authority and will submit the required ‘Section 73 application’ in respect of the proposed amendments in the coming days.

The primary amendment involves the relocation and reorientation of the approved buildings at the site above re-designed foreshafts.

This simplification will enable permanent winders to be installed from the outset, removing the need for two 45m high temporary winding towers during the five-year construction period and the requirement for an access drift.

The change will mean that the footprint of the site buildings will increase slightly, by less than 6%.

However, building heights will not change and the site will still be screened as before. Another amendment involves the relocation of some water attenuation ponds to the east of the site, which means that trees which were going to have to be removed can now be retained.

A spokesman for the company said: “These minor alterations to our existing plans will make the build easier. There is no change proposed to our existing commitments to provide community benefits payments for environmental enhancements, skills development, highways improvements and tourism promotion in the region.”

The company recently published a progress update, confirming that the project remains on time and on budget, with enabling works complete and site preparation works well advanced.

Initial diaphragm walling activities are scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2017.