Redcar Bulk Terminal (RBT) and Sirius Minerals Plc have claimed the delivery of “a huge boost to the economic regeneration of South Tees” by signing a major land and handling deal.
As work progresses on the Woodsmith Mine for the extraction of polyhalite, a unique type of potash and a multi-nutrient fertiliser, Sirius has secured a long-term lease for an area of land on the southern side of the RBT site. This will be used to establish a large warehousing facility for the storage of polyhalite from the mine.
RBT has also agreed a long-term materials handling agreement to export up to 10 Mtpa of polyhalite from its own facility.
“It’s another significant step forward in the continued resurgence of Redcar Bulk Terminal (RBT) as a key partner in the regeneration of the South Tees site and wider Tees Valley economy,” said Garry O’Malley, general manager of RBT.
“The closure of SSI clearly hit us hard, but it’s not in the nature of Teesside people to give up. RBT is an integral part of British Steel’s UK operations, and this new business more than justifies their continuing investment as RBT is now back in profit with a healthy business pipeline.
“We’ve a hugely flexible operation, and, coupled with ongoing investment in our port equipment and rail infrastructure, we’ve diversified our offer and continue to secure significant business in new markets.
Located near Whitby, North Yorkshire, the Woodsmith Mine project area contains the largest, highest grade resource of polyhalite to be found anywhere in the world, which will be extracted via two mine shafts. It will be transported outside of the National Park to Teesside on a conveyer belt system in an underground tunnel. It will then be granulated at a materials handling facility, with the majority being exported to overseas markets.
Sirius Minerals is aiming to achieve first product from the mine by the end of 2021, ramping up to an initial production capacity of 10 Mtpa and then full production of 20 Mtpa.
Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, comments: “We are pleased to enter into this arrangement which reduces the complexity of our construction programme and ultimately helps to simplify our stage two financing plan which is being finalised over the coming months.
“By working with a local partner, we can develop our project and also deliver benefits to an existing established business in the Tees Valley. The RBT facility has been underutilised since the closure of the steel works and this agreement will ultimately help us deliver tremendous economic benefits for the region.”