Yorkshire polyhalite mine developer Sirius Minerals has said that it has signed an agreement which will improve shaft sinking methodologies and accelerate the scheme by up to six months.
Sirius has awarded a contract for design and build of the four shafts below 120m on the scheme to DMC Mining Services.
Bauer Technologies is currently using diaphragm wall techniques to construct the first 120m of the shafts. Under the new agreement DMC will used shaft boring roadheaders to extend those shafts to full depth at around 1,500m below ground level.
Sirius has previously been working with AMC to develop the shaft solution but started discussions in parallel with DMC and other shaft specialists following protracted discussions over commercial arrangements with AMC.
According to Sirius, the arrangement with DMC will “bring technical opportunities and a commercial partnership that can unlock potential savings in the construction schedule”.
“DMC has proven, world leading experience using Herrenknecht shaft boring roadheader technology on deep shafts and represents a strong partner, commercially aligned to our success,” said Sirius CEO and managing director Chris Fraser. “We are confident that they can deliver the North Yorkshire polyhalite project shafts significantly earlier than all previous expectations and we look forward to working with the team.”