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Sirius Minerals Polyhalite Mine (WoodSmith Mine)

Woodsmith Mine May Spring 2018Woodsmith Mine May Spring 2018

Sirius Minerals polyhalite mine project - Woodsmith Mine

Background information

In October 2015, after a thorough process of planning and careful consideration by the North York Moors National Park Authority, planning permission was granted for development of a new polyhalite mine in the National Park.  The mine project, now known as Woodsmith Mine, is being developed by Sirius Minerals and has been set up to extract mineral from two deep seams of polyhalite (a form of potash for use as an agricultural fertiliser) which lie beneath the National Park and extend eastward underneath the North Sea.  The project contains a number of main elements, inside and outside the National Park boundary, including:

  • Mine head site to the south of Sneaton, near Whitby, and extraction of polyhalite from a large area beneath the east of the National Park (originally approved by the North York Moors National Park Authority in 2015, with an amended approval issued in February 2018);
  • Mineral transport system comprising a series of conveyors within a 37 kilometre tunnel linking the mine head site to Wilton, Teesside, with 3 intermediate shaft sites; one located in the National Park at Lady Cross Plantation, near Egton; one at Lockwood Beck and one at Tocketts Lythe, both within Redcar and Cleveland;
  • Materials Handling Facility at Wilton, Teesside,  to process the extracted mineral into a finished product;
  • Harbour facility for export of finished product, located at Bran Sands, Teesside;
  • Extraction of evaporate minerals including polyhalite and potash from beneath the sea bed.

Work on the new mine head site in the National Park formally started in May 2017.  Work has also commenced on the intermediate shaft site at Lockwood Beck, which is located outside but immediately adjacent to the National Park, as well as on development of the Wilton site at Teesside.  

Following the original approval in 2015, proposals for minor revisions to some aspects of the main mine head site development were approved by the National Park Authority in February 2018.  More information about these changes, including the planning permission decision notice, can be viewed here by searching using reference number NYM/2017/0505/MEIA.

How to find out more

In the following pages you can find out more information about planning for the Mine and the role of the National Park Authority in helping to reduce or offset any negative impacts as the development takes place.  

The Authority has appointed two staff members to ensure the efficient delivery of planning requirements and the substantial package of environmental/social/economic mitigation and compensation measures set out in the planning application, approved conditions and related legal (‘Section 106’) agreements. Briony Fox (Director of Polyhalite Resources) joined the Authority in April 2017 to lead on the delivery of the environmental, social and economic measures and Rob Smith (Senior Minerals Planner) joined the Authority in May 2017 to lead on the planning regulation of this project. They are both based at the North York Moors National Park Authority Headquarters in Helmsley and can be contacted using the details below:

Briony Fox, Director of Polyhalite Resources (b.fox@northyorkmooors.org.uk);

Rob Smith, Senior Minerals Planner (rob.smith@northyorkmoors.org.uk)

or call 01439 772700.

Information about the project can also be obtained from Sirius Minerals’ website.

A community Liaison Group Forum has been set up by the Sirius Minerals to help communicate and discuss issues associated with the project. Meetings are open to the public. See agendas and minutes of the meetings here.

Sirius Minerals have also set up a 24 hour telephone community helpline for enquiries or concerns about the project. The number is 0845 5438964.