The Anglo-American Woodsmith Project is a new polyhalite fertiliser mine being developed in the North East. Strabag is constructing a shaft 360m below ground level to provide ventilation and emergency egress. This unique project has been designed to ensure minimal surface impact and constructed using blind boring methods.
Rainton Construction was appointed to deliver an Early Works Earthworks & Civils package for the site set-up installation, including haul roads, site welfare, working platform, lagoon, attenuation pond, drainage, and concrete slabs.
Initial site establishment
- Water storage pond to store all site water and site runoff
- Construction of tarmac haul road and car park system
- Installation of site drainage system incorporating carrier/filter drains and perimeter ditch to capture any site runoff , including a 144.500lt puraceptor tank for silt and sediment
- Installation of site service infrastructure water, electric mains, and fibre.
- Construction of Reinforced Concrete (RC) muck bin for blind bore drilling slurry washout
- Installation of 3900m2 of heavy-duty piling and mat incorporating geosynthetic clay liner and 976m3 of imported non-impermeable clay cover under strict transport restrictions to enable a 25m deep secant piled wall to be constructed
- Multiple RC slabs for mines workshop, grout plant refuelling stations and wash-down stations
- Excavation and Construction of site lagoon covering an area of 7500m2 excavated and 13000m2 of site won material. Lagoon incorporated Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL) and imported 8000m2 non-impermeable clay cover, High-density polyethylene (HDPE) lined and sealed
- Construction of drill pad around concrete secant piled wall
- Excavation of 4.315 diameter pre-shaft down to 12.5m deep within one week through mud rock and quartzite.
We worked collaboratively to find bespoke solutions, including the combination of Peikko MODIX and Ancon MBT, which removed the need for bolt projection and gave a flat working surface, allowing the final steel frame to be fixed to the slab without any modifications. This also meant no extra costs or delays. Due to the tight shaft diameter, we had to utilise telescopic clamshell excavators, mining spec mini excavators and remote-controlled Brokk’s to enable the blind bore drilling to continue down to the fill depth of 360m.
Our project was completed on time and budget. As part of the wider scheme, we have not caused a single-minute delay to the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the site team. We proudly support Anglo American’s purpose to re-imagine mining and improve people’s lives through the Woodsmith Project.