Sirius completes Bran Sands purchase

Sirius Minerals has completed the purchase of the Bran Sands site on Teesside that lies adjacent to the former Redcar steelworks site. The land will be home to its harbour facilities and a conveyor system as part of its £2.2bn Woodsmith mine development to extract polyhalite, a multi-nutrient fertilizer.

The mine, described by a government minister in February this year as a “project of national importance,” is currently under construction near Whitby. The whole operation will create over 2,500 jobs and £2.5bn of annual exports at full production.

Sirius’ project involves the construction of two deep mineshafts to access the mineral deposit, connected to a 23 mile tunnel to transport the polyhalite via conveyor belt to Wilton, where it will be processed in a new plant. The finished ‘POLY4’ product will then be transported to a new harbour built at Bran Sands for shipping around the world.

Construction at the Woodsmith Mine site is currently underway, with building activity in Teesside due to commence in 2019 and first production of polyhalite due by 2021.

Much of the 284 acre site, formerly owned by ICI, has been identified as a potential alternative energy or open surface storage site in the South Tees Development Corporation masterplan, and already contains a pipeline corridor and the Northumbrian Waterworks treatment facility.

“The acquisition of Bran Sands represents another important step forward in the ongoing development of our project,” said Chris Fraser, CEO of Sirius Minerals. “Having exclusive access to our own deep water port is a huge part of the proposition for our project, giving us access to a global distribution network. The life of the mine is expected to be over multiple generations, so the facilities that we will build here will provide jobs in and attract investment to Teesside for many years to come.”

“This news represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Teesside and the development potential of the neighbouring South Tees Development Corporation site,” said Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor. “Sirius is exactly the kind of company that we aim to attract here – one with a global vision that will grow with the local area, demonstrating the value and investment potential of South Tees.”

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