Sirius Minerals, a globally diversified potash development group, selected mine shaft design specialists Alan Auld Engineering Ltd. of Doncaster, England, to develop lining design and sinking concepts for the York potash project in North Yorkshire, England.

This potash project will involve sinking new shafts to more than 1,000 m through highly varied strata and will require a shaft lining which can withstand high hydrostatic loadings, as well as being able to accommodate strata subject to deformations and time dependent creep.

Alan Auld Engineering is a world class engineering and mine support company specializing in the design of deep shafts and tunnels for mine access. The company is well known for its shaft design work for salt and potash mines around the world and is very active in a number of current sinking and relining projects.

“The design and construction of the shafts for the York potash project are of critical importance to the successful rapid development of the project. Alan Auld Engineering is a world leader in this field and is currently developing new lining concepts to enable the implementation of the innovative and potentially transformational Herrenknecht shaft sinking systems,” said Chris Fraser, managing director and CEO, Sirius. “Given the location of the York potash project, we recognize that minimizing the visual impact of the ultimate minehead location will help maximize our chances of continued community support.”

Sirius is still collecting the necessary data upon which to base its decision on the exact location of the minehead for the York potash project, but in the meantime is keen to advance all design and other matters that would be common to any shaft whatever its location.