Actemium Automation Teesside have been contracted to commission the automation systems at the Woodsmith potash mine in North Yorkshire, owned by Anglo American, a leading global mining company.
Since the 2 year project first commenced in December 2020, a team of up to 8 engineers, managed by Barry Huntington, Unit Operations Manager, Actemium Automation Teesside (Worksop), have been working to provide automation commissioning support for the mine shaft surface equipment, using Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) software to control the PLCs, networks and SCADA for the entire process.
As part of the commissioning process, they will be using the TIA engineering software to ensure that all signals and provision of information for operations are correct.
To extract the underground potash deposits used for fertilisers, 3 shafts are being built with the main shaft reaching a depth of 1.5km. To protect the environment and maintain the existing landscape within the North York Moors National Park, a 23 mile underground train tunnel will be bored to transport the raw ore to a large processing mill near Redcar, where it will be refined for onward shipping via the nearby port. With an estimated cost of £1.1 billion, when finished this will be the longest underground train tunnel with the longest conveyor in the UK.
Having previously worked on control and SCADA systems for the coal mining industry, Actemium Automation Teesside (Worksop) have been able to utilise their technical expertise for this latest project at Woodsmith potash mine, where they have been working with Actemium Automation Teesside and Cougar Automation 24/7 Support.
Although the project is still in the installation phase providing support to Anglo American, we are hopeful that this will lead to opportunities for future projects.