Time to get Sirius: contractors announced for UK Potash mine
AMC UK, a joint venture between Thyssen...
Sirius minerals has announced two preferred contractors for the development of its UK based polyhalite project.
AMC UK, a joint venture between Thyssen Group and Redpath Group, and Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture will work on both the mine site development and mineral transport system development.
The UK based AMC is a global leader in shaft sinking in the potash sector and will be working on the development of all mine shaft construction at the site and the shaft construction of the mineral transport system (MTS).
Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture will be working on the design and build of the MTS tunnel to linke the mine with the materials handling facility.
Chris Fraser, CEO of Sirius Minerals, said: "This is the culmination of a huge amount of work by both the successful bidders and those that have been unsuccessful and we thank all of the groups involved for their efforts.”
“We are delighted to now be moving forward with our selected partners towards the implementation of the project." He added.
The potash mine will employ over 1,000 long term workers at full production and a further 1,500 workers indirectly. The project is expected to deliver a huge boost to the north of England and will have a value of over £10bn, rising to £19bn when production starts.
At full production the mine's annual contribution to UK GDP could be up to £2.3bn.
It is expected that the mine will produce 20 million tonnes of potash a year and production is scheduled to start in 2021.
Zimbabwe targets £8.8bn mining industry by 2023
Zimbabwe’s government plans to fast-track exploration, evaluation and digitalisation of selected reserved mining areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as part of wider measures to achieve a £8.8 billion mining industry by 2023, according to a senior government minister.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said other plans include stopping the issuance of special grants in the reserved areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development until the exploration and evaluation is complete and a robust value addition program for diamonds is implemented.
Mutsvangwa was speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing on December 15.
She adds that the issuance and renewal of special grants for energy should also be based on the financial and technical capacity to value add all types of coal, as well as for ideal exploration of Coal Bed Methane.
For renewal of special grants, consideration should take into account the period the Special Grant has been held as well as plans with milestones for value addition of the special grant, Mutsvangwa says. She adds that the Zimbabwean government expects gold to drive the mining sector in order to achieve the ambitious target, with the precious metal expected to contribute approximately £2.96 billion to the overall target.
Mining is one of Zimbabwe’s major contributors to its economy, alongside agriculture, which is the mainstay. The mining sector accounted for more than 60 percent of the country’s foreign currency receipts in 2019, and contributed around 16 percent to national Gross Domestic Product, the Chamber of Mines says.
The country’s mining industry is focused on a diverse range of small to medium mining operations. The most important minerals produced in Zimbabwe include gold, asbestos, chromite, coal and base metals.
Zimbabwe expects its economy to expand by 7.4 percent in 2021 from a projected contraction of 4.5 percent this year, due to the effects of drought and the COVID-19 global pandemic.
When presenting the 2021 National Budget in November this year, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said that the mining sector is projected to rebound by 11 percent next year after surviving a COVID-19 induced shock that saw the sector contract by 4.7 percent in 2020. In September, mining bans in national parks were introduced, according to news agencies.
He added that the National Budget would allocate £1 billion towards the operations of the ministry for planning, promotion and exploration, data capturing, and automation, among other key mining processes.
Other factors necessary for the achievement of the £8.8 billion target include a stable macroeconomic environment, policy consistency, and availability of long-term capital to fund mining projects along the entire mineral value chain, the minister said.
Stopping "illicit financial flows" from gold smuggling is another key issue to address, according to media reports.