United Kingdom

Woodsmith Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StageConstruction
Commodities
  • Polyhalite
Mining Method
  • Continuous
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe Woodsmith Project is the largest known high-grade polyhalite deposit in the world. The fertiliser product – known as POLY4 – will be exported to a network of customers overseas from port facility at Teesside.

The estimates remain unchanged on the basis that the full technical update and techno-economic review of the project is still to be presented to the Anglo American Board in 2025. The outcome of these studies may result in changes to the LoAP, Reserve Life and Ore Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates.

Sinking activities at the two deep shafts continue to progress well. The service shaft is now c.745 metres deep, having reached the expected depth for the 2023 year.

Anglo American enhancing the project’s configuration to allow a higher production capacity, a final design capacity of 13 Mtpa is subject to studies and approval.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Anglo American plc. 100 % Indirect
On 17 March 2020, the Anglo American acquired a 100% interest in Sirius Minerals Plc, and since that date it has been accounted for as a subsidiary of the Group and reported as the Crop Nutrients segment. As a result of the acquisition the Group has gained control of the Woodsmith project, located in North Yorkshire, UK.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Sedimentary

Summary:

The deposit is part of the Late Permian evaporite succession on the western edge of the Zechstein Basin, which represents multiple influxes and subsequent evaporation of seawater in a topographic low with restricted connection to the Zechstein Sea. The polyhalite sits within the EZ2 Fordon Evaporite sequence, a significant basin-infilling cycle. This sequence varies between 30 and 200 m thick across the project area, thickening to the east, towards the centre of the basin.

The polyhalite appears to be formed by synsedimentary metasomatism or back-reaction of pre-existing sulphates; gypsum/anhydrite, with potassium and magnesium-enriched marine brines. The deposit is a stratiform sedimentary unit displaying significant lateral continuity. It is composed of two high grade seams: the Shelf Seam and the Basin Seam.

The Shelf Seam exists on the basin margin and thickens in the central part of the project area before pinching out to the east. It is bound by intergrown halite anhydrite-polyhalite below and anhydrite above. The Basin Seam is deeper and bound by halite; it terminates against the base of the palaeo-ramp to the east and extends out to the west under the North Sea. On a smaller scale, the deposit is modelled as a series of laterally continuous units within the Shelf Seam, potentially representing variations in the sea level and depositional environment of the Zechstein Sea at the time. Three zones of high grade polyhalite are distinguished, separated by anhydrite-dominated bands.

The Basin Seam is one of two high grade polyhalite seams within the Woodsmith deposit. It is deeper than the Shelf Seam, is bound by halite, and terminates against the base of the palaeo-ramp to the west and extends out to the east under the North Sea.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnitsAvg. Annual
Polyhalite Mt 10
All production numbers are expressed as mineral.

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 22, 2024

Total WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required 2020

Aerial view:

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