Yorkshire potash mine developers Sirius Minerals has agreed the first stage of financing for the £1.1bn project.
It means preparation works including geotechnical studies can start immediately. Civils works including highways improvements are due to start in the New Year, with site preparation in the second quarter.
The project will include the development of a 37km long underground mineral transport system from the mine to a proposed new materials handling facility at Wilton on Teesside.
AMC UK, a joint venture between Thyssen Group and Redpath Group, has been selected as preferred contractors for mine site development.
A Hochtief and J. Murphy & Sons joint venture (HMJV) has been selected as preferred contractors for the mineral transport system development. Work includes design and build of the tunnel link between the mine and Teeside.
“Today’s successful General Meeting concludes the Stage 1 Financing and delivers a major milestone for Sirius Minerals. The financing has taken a huge amount of work and dedication from everyone at the Company and also from those that support our business. We are now focussed on the construction programme ahead and the path to first production for our North Yorkshire polyhalite project,” said Sirius chair Russell Scrimshaw.
Potash is one of the main sources of polyhalite, a naturally occurring mineral used in fertilizer for widespread commercial farming.
Plans for the world’s largest potash mine were approved by Members of the North York Moors National Park Authority (NYMNPA) in July last year.