Minister unveils name of Sirius Minerals mine
Sirius Minerals has announced the name of the mine at its North Yorkshire polyhalite project. The “Woodsmith Mine” name was unveiled today by Andrew Percy MP, the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse.
Speaking at a plaque unveiling ceremony at the entrance to the Woodsmith Mine, Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said:
“Today marks an important step for Sirius Minerals’ North Yorkshire mining project, which is a real vote of confidence in the economic potential of the Northern Powerhouse.
“The Woodsmith Mine has the potential to create over a thousand jobs and generate billions of pounds of exports for the region, and so I’m excited to see it progress.”
The Woodsmith Mine has been named after two of the original geologists that worked on the Sirius project, Mr Peter Woods and Dr Frederick Smith. Both have extensive knowledge of the local geology and were the first people in the area to work with Chris Fraser, the project founder.
Chris Fraser, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sirius Minerals, commented:
“Without Rick and Peter’s commitment there wouldn’t be a Project and their extensive knowledge of, and passion for, the geology has been invaluable.
“They share the combination of being dedicated professionals and genuinely decent people, so I could not think of a more fitting way to recognise their immense contribution to the Project and all the benefits it has and will continue to deliver.”
“The name also implies an element of rural craftsmanship that befits both the mine’s location and our teams’ innovation and painstaking diligence towards this important project”, he added.
The men behind the inspiration for the Woodsmith name are both well-known geologists in the area. Peter Woods played a leading role in the exploration of the potash deposit that led to the development of Boulby mine in the late 1960s, where he became Chief Geologist and stayed for the next fifteen years.
Peter’s geological knowledge, coupled with his understanding of the sensitivity of the local environment, has been an important part of the development of the Sirius project.
Rick Smith was born in County Durham, where he has been based all of his working life. Having gained a first class degree and doctorate in geology from Durham University, Rick started his career in 1973 at British Steel before moving to ICI as their geologist.
Rick and his team at FWS Consultants led the initial geological appraisal, conceptual modelling, seismic interpretation and surveying, and resource exploration drilling for the project and remain involved today.
The site naming marks another important step in the project’s progress. The Company recently began highways enabling works following it successfully raising financing for the start of construction in November last year.
A new right-hand turn filter lane from the A171 onto the B1416 is currently being constructed, together with and a new turning lane on the B1416 into the site of the Woodsmith Mine. Detailed site preparation works are due to commence in April 2017, as per the Company’s