Applying new and innovative technology to one of the largest underground mining projects in the UK, Careys Civil Engineering have commenced specialist works at Woodsmith Mine in Whitby, Yorkshire.

Contracted to deliver the construction of a material transfer system shaft, excavation and reinforced concrete works, Careys Civil Engineering have applied new engineering techniques to deliver this monumental project. The team have introduced a vertical sinking machine (VSM), this being the first time this technology has been used in the UK, with a capability of excavating 120m deep.

Containing the largest and highest-grade resource of polyhalite to be found anywhere in the UK, Woodsmith Mine has shown to be a unique project. Ensuring the efficient use of the high-grade resource, the polyhalite will be extracted via two mine shafts and transported using a conveyor belt in an underground tunnel, ready to be handled and exported to overseas markets. The team have also demonstrated consideration for the environment, with all excavated materials being reused throughout the project.

Despite the challenges of introducing the vertical sinking machine for the first time in the UK, the team have systematically planned and scheduled works on this one of a kind project, ensuring successful deployment and operation.

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