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Sat September 25 2021

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Sirius sorts out tunnel fit-out contract

12 Nov 18 Sirius Minerals has extended the scope of Strabag’s contract to build an underground rail tunnel for transporting potash to include the fit-out phase.

Sirius has varied its existing mineral transport system (MTS) tunnelling contract with Strabag to include engineering, procurement and construction of the conveyor system, the maintenance railway, electrical and communications infrastructure.

Strabag was initially contracted earlier this year to dig a 13km tunnel at the North Yorkshire Polyhalite Project. The tunnel will form part of the underground transport system for the £3.2bn Woodsmith potash mine, near Whitby. The Woodsmith Mine is expected to begin extraction from the world’s largest deposit of polyhalite, a mineral used in the production of fertiliser, in 2021.

The section being built by Strabag is part of a 37km tunnel, 360 metres underground, with a diameter of 4.7 metres for a conveyor system to transport the mined polyhalite to Wilton for processing.

We reported last week that Strabag was already at preferred contractor stage for the fit-out contract.

Sirius chief executive Chris Fraser said: "Procurement of the mineral transport system fit-out marks the completion of our major construction procurement programme to support our stage-two senior debt financing process and is a significant milestone for the company.  Our efforts are now focussed on the successful execution of our financing plan to fully finance the construction of our world-class, long-life polyhalite project."

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