Headgear Renewal at Boulby Potash Mine in Cleveland
The Headgear and associated equipment will be constructed by Qualter Hall on site adjacent to the existing tower during 2012, with the final installation taking place during the mine holiday shutdown in August/September 2013, so as not to interrupt production. Qualter Hall will be using a highly specialised procedure, involving jacking and then sliding out the existing 2700 tonne concrete headgear on polished stainless steel slide paths to an area 50m from the shaft, where it will then be demolished. Then the new 650 tonne steel Headgear, which will have been prebuilt on slide paths about 20 m from the shaft, will be slid into final position over the shaft for completion and putting into operation, all within the holiday shutdown period. Finally a new concrete outer tower will be built over the new steel Headgear.
The scope of Qualter Hall’s turnkey works is extensive and will involve the design, build and installation of the new 50 m high Headgear structure along with four 6.2 m diameter Headgear pullies, two 23 tonne capacity skips, skip operating gear, receiving hopper, load out conveyor, gantry, shaft cover, safety systems and all associated electrical equipment inclusive of shaft communications and interlocks. Qualter Hall are also responsible for the civil works and foundations, concrete outer tower, airlock arrangement and demolition of the existing 55 m high concrete Headgear structure.
The new design will include for future uprating of the system, to allow the two 23 tonne capacity skips to be increased to two 30 tonne capacity skips.
Cleveland Potash Limited currently supplies around 55% of the UK’s potash consumption from its Boulby mine, which has been operating since 1973 and which is currently the UK’s only potash mine. It is located in the stunning landscape of the North Yorkshire Moors on the northeast coast of England. Workings extend down to 1500m below ground level and as far as 7km out underneath the North Sea.
The mine harvests over a million tons of potash and more than half a million tons of salt each year, from beneath the Moors and under the North Sea. Potash is used for fertiliser production, as well as for glass making and applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The mine also produces salt as part of the potash mining process, which is used for a variety of needs, from road deicing in winter to sugar beet cultivation and as an ingredient in animal feeds.