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Polyhalite mine takes delivery of vertical shaft machine

sirius vsm delivery

Sirius Mineral’s polyhalite mine in North Yorkshire has reached a new milestone with arrival of the Herrenknecht vertical shaft sinking machine (VSM) on site.

Careys will first use the VSM to excavate the Mineral Transport System (MTS) shaft at the Woodsmith Mine to 120m below ground level.

The shaft will then be extended to its full 360m depth by mining contractor DMC using road header equipment in place of the original approach of drill and blast.

sirius vsm delivery 2

sirius vsm delivery 2

The VSM will be used to extend the shafts to 120m

Careys is also expected to use the equipment to extend the production and service shafts at Woodsmith to 120m and also excavate a fourth shaft at Lockwood Beck to 100m for the launch of TBMs to drive the MTS tunnel.

“The roadheader proposed by DMC has been used in Canada on a similar scheme but never in the UK before,” Sirius Minerals corporate communications general manager Maurice Rankin told GE.

The drive by DMC is expected to take two years to complete.

The shafts were originally planned to be delivered using diaphragm wall techniques but Sirius switched to the VSM solution to match time savings being delivered by DMC.


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