Woodsmith Mine – Dewatering systems

(Service & Production Shafts)

Project Background

Woodsmith Project has been called the biggest mining project in Britain in decades. Anglo American currently develops a Polyhalite mine in a sensitive local landscape, the North York National Park. To receive permission for mine development the company has to abide by strict environmental limits, which govern all activities during the construction phase.

To reduce the visual impact of the mine shaft the head frames will be sunk below ground and surface buildings will be kept to a minimum. The project area contains the largest, highest grade resource of Polyhalite worldwide. Once the mine is at full operation, a capacity of up to 20 million tons per annum is awaited.


Provide Mechanical solutions for the installation of Dewatering, Process Water and Compressed Air Systems critical to shaft sinking activities. The two main shafts at Woodsmith Project will be the deepest commercial mineshafts in the UK and Europe. The production shaft will reach a depth of 1594 meters, and the service shaft will reach 1565 meters, both with a diameter of 6.75 meters.

Salko Scope of Works

The supply and installation of the following systems:

  • Foreshaft Dewatering
  • Foreshaft Process Water
  • Foreshaft Compressed Air System

Salko Solution

Initiating the project with a customer first ethos, Salko Woodsmith project management team recognised and understood the emphasis to reduce installation costs, whilst maintaining the integrity of the critical path.

The growing complexity of projects demands a careful approach, as well as an outlook to ensure the most effective and innovative solutions can be leveraged.

Salko UK opted to utilise a grooved pipe jointing system (Victaulic). Unlike a welded system, a grooved mechanical pipe joining system can easily be taken apart and the same parts can be reassembled. The initial installation is about five times faster than welding, but when a welded system needs to be reworked, the grooved pipe jointing system can be ten times faster.   This was especially important when the consideration of future removal of the system is considered as the installations are in some cases temporary.

The Victaulic pipe jointing system was a new product to the Salko team, but we quickly assemble the knowledge and skills to carry out the installation to satisfaction of the customer.

In addition to the pipework Salko also supplied and installed the structural steelwork pipe supports for the project these were fabricated to BS EN 1090-2 (Exc 2).

 The installation was executed safely and during the process the Salko team also developed an excellent working relationship with the supplier.  A supplier we are now working with to expand into other projects with this and other products in their portfolio.

Salko Key Data:

Country, Location: United Kingdom, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Project Execution: 2020 – Present
Application: Deep Shaft Sinking
Installed Pipework: 1380.19mtrs
Get in touch

Get in touch with our team at Salko UK

For a clear, honest appraisal of your next project. Just give us a call to get started on 01430 431977