Local William Hare facility in multimillion pound supply contract with Sirius Minerals

William Hare’s local steel fabrication facility in Scarborough has sealed a major deal for the supply of specialist equipment to Sirius Minerals’ polyhalite fertiliser mine near Whitby.

Under the deal, William Hare Ltd has been contracted by DMC Mining Services, the company sinking the mineshafts for Sirius Minerals, to fabricate 3,000 tonnes of equipment, including the steel headframes for the winding gear and the galloways used during the excavation of the access shafts for the 23 mile mineral transportation tunnel to Teesside.

The majority of the equipment will be fabricated in Hare’s local factory in Scarborough, with the remainder in Wetherby. William Hare Ltd (WHL) is a leading independent steel fabrication company in the UK and has helped construct many landmark buildings in London, the UK, and in over 50 countries throughout the world.

Gareth Edmunds, External Affairs Director at Sirius Minerals, said:

“We are delighted that our contractors are working with local partners to manufacture the equipment and services required for construction.  This supports our aim of maximising local benefits, including the creation of new jobs and business opportunities with our suppliers.  The company has always been committed to ensuring that the local community benefits from the project – working with local businesses and developing a strong local supply chain is an important way we can do that.”

There are currently 900 people directly working on the Sirius project – in Scarborough, at Woodsmith Mine near Whitby and at the Lockwood Beck and Wilton sites.  Two thirds of the employees are from the local area. This includes almost 200 people from Scarborough Borough, based mostly at Resolution House in Scarborough or the mine site.  The company expects this construction workforce to increase to 1,700 in the coming years, and to provide over 1,000 long term, permanent jobs when the mine is fully operational.

Steve Duffield, Director at William Hare said:

“William Hare Group is delighted to engage with and support Sirius for this strategically important investment for the region.   Hare will support with local expertise and resource from their facilities in Scarborough and Wetherby as well as drawing down on other capabilities within the group.”

The headframes that William Hare will manufacture, also known as winding towers, are structural frames above the mineshafts which house the winding gear used for lowering and lifting workers, equipment and mined ore. They will be sunk below ground level to reduce their visual impact, as part of Sirius Minerals’ strategy to lessen the mine’s impact on the local environment, which will see all surface buildings kept to a minimum and the site landscaped and screened by indigenous woodland to help it blend into its surroundings.

The 20 metre tall galloways are multi-decked steel platforms containing excavation equipment which are suspended in a shaft during shaft sinking.  They will be used to construct the Woodsmith Mine and Lockwood Beck tunnel access shafts, down which tunnel boring machines will be lowered to construct the underground mineral transportation system.

Sirius expects to reach the polyhalite seam, one mile beneath the surface, in 2021 and to be producing 10 million tonnes per annum of its natural fertiliser by 2024.