From the outset, we have been committed to limiting the environmental impact of the Project as much as possible, which is reflected in our low impact design and operational philosophy.
To access the polyhalite deposit, we have designed our mine infrastructure to be sympathetic to its location within the North York Moors National Park. The number and size of the buildings has been reduced to a minimum, which together with extensive landscaping and planting, will ensure the site is screened and blends in with the surrounding area.
Mined ore will be transported underground, in recognition of the sensitivity of the area, to the materials handling facility in Teesside. No mineral will come to surface until after it leaves the National Park and arrives at the materials handling facility (MHF).
We continue to look for ways to improve the Project. Through our membership of the Industry Nature Conservation Association, we work with local authorities and voluntary organisations to minimise our environmental impact and ensure ecological improvement on Teesside. In 2017 we further refined the mine design which, together with more efficient construction methods, has resulted in environmental advantages. Read our CSR report for further details.
Protected moorland and prominent sites have been avoided in favour of a location that is away from local villages and uses the natural topography and existing woodland as screening.
The number and height of surface buildings will be limited to a minimum to reduce their visual impact. We have taken the decision to partially sink the shaft head frames below the surface. The vast majority of material excavated during construction will be retained on site. It will be landscaped and planted to ensure that surface buildings are not visible from outside the site.
All mined ore will be transported to Teesside via an underground tunnel in recognition of the sensitivity of the area and the lack of suitable road and rail infrastructure.
All of the mined polyhalite will be granulated at Teesside to minimise the industrial footprint inside the National Park.
Every tonne of polyhalite mined is product. To produce POLY4 involves a simple granulation process which does not require chemical processing and has no waste products. The estimated value of the global warming potential (GWP) of POLY4 is 0.051 kg CO2e per kg product. This is considerably lower than other potassium source fertilizers like muriate of potash (0.13 – 0.265 kg CO2e/kg) and common sulphur source fertilizers like ammonium sulphate (0.58 kg CO2e/kg).
The production of POLY4 will involve a simple physical granulation process which does not require chemical processing and has no waste products.
Fertilizers are identified as a significant source of greenhouse gases (GHG). Every tonne of mined polyhalite is a tonne of product, there is no waste and no requirement for chemical processing. As a result, POLY4 has a lower carbon footprint compared to other fertilizers.
The estimated value of the global warming potential (GWP) of POLY4 is 0.051 kg CO2 e per kg of product. This is low compared with other fertilizers and considerably lower than other potassium (K) source fertilizers such as muriate of potash (MOP; 0.13–0.265 kg CO2 e/kg) and common sulphur (S) source fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate (0.58 kg CO2 e/kg).
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