The parts to construct the Sirius Minerals Tunnel Boring Machine are unloaded after arriving by ship from Rotterdam at the AV Dawson logistics site on the banks of the River Tees on February 15, 2019 in Middlesbrough, England.
After it was transported by convoy to the Sirius Minerals Wilton site the following day the TBM will be assembled by specialised engineers inside a headframe at the mine site. The Tunnel Boring Machine will be one of three used by Sirius Minerals at their York Potash Project during construction of an underground mineral transport system that will form a link allowing the transportation of mined polyhalite between the Woodsmith Mine near Whitby and the materials handling facility at Wilton on Teesside.
The Mineral transport system will be a mining tunnel accommodating conveyor belts, operational cables and services and a transit system and will stretch for 37km between the two sites and will be 360 metres deep at its deepest part.
The mine is expected to be complete and operational in 2021 and will be the largest of its kind on the world expecting to create up to 2,500 jobs at peak production.
Polyhalite is a natural mineral with a low carbon footprint and high sulphate content and is used globally primarily as an agricultural fertiliser.
Images (c) Ian Forsyth / Getty Images
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