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Procurement timeline set out for North York Moors potash mine

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Contractors for the final major works on a £3.2bn North Yorkshire potash mine are scheduled to be announced within the next few months. 

Work to be awarded includes port infrastructure, two stages of tunnelling for a transportation system and a materials handling facility. 

The project is in the final stages of the procurement process and an announcement is expected by September this year, developer Sirius Minerals said in its quarterly progress update. 

The update said: “The company has now entered the final phase of the procurement process involving cost and risk estimation which involves an iterative process of evaluating contractor scopes of work, commercial risk allocation and contingency requirements.

“In addition to this, the outcomes of this process are subject to review by the lender’s technical consultant as part of the stage 2 financing process. 

“The company intends to provide the market with an updated estimate including contingency once binding financing commitment letters have been executed. This is anticipated to occur around the end of the third quarter of 2018.”

It also confirmed that the project is running to schedule after Strabag began construction of the first stage of the 37m transport tunnel under the North York Moors national park. 

The company signed a seven year deal to supply Nigeria with its POLY4 product, which is used in fertilizer, last month. 

Sirius Minerals managing director and chief executive Chris Fraser said: “It has been a quarter of good progress as we continue to construct our Woodsmith Mine, as well as breaking ground on Teeside.

“Work to deliver the stage two financing continues at pace and we are delighted to add a new, well established customer, in the high potential African region, to our growing list of partners.

“The economic and social benefits to our nationally significant infrastructure project are vast, as recently illustrated by [planning consultancy] Qoud’s  independent economic impact assessment, and we look forward to delivering these important and long-lasting benefits to both national and local economies.

“With commercial momentum and the development of our world class mine continuing to progress well, we remain confident of delivering on our key milestones for 2018 and ultimately delivering on our vision to be a world-class fertilizer business.”

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