Woodsmith Mine – Ventilation 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 ventilation (Supply & Extraction) systems critical to shaft sinking activities. The two main shafts at Woodsmith Project will be the deepest commercial mineshafts in the U.K. 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.

The solution

The Salko Project team managed the supply (including ordering, logistics, expediting, receiving, and site laydown) and installation of;

Complete steel ductwork from external cooling coils to below the shaft collar, and from the shaft collar to the exhaust fan. Installed Ducting – 223.19 metres (Large Bore 1370mm). Fabricated, insulated piping and isolation valves supplying a closed circuit cooling system via external chiller units and cooling coils. Installed Glycol Pipework -170.6 metres.

Execution of Scope

  • Surveying and field measuring of site to confirm field conditions against design documents and manufacturer’s documents
  • Placement and anchoring of free issue E-House, Supply Fan, Cooling Coils, Chillers and Exhaust Fan (containerised assemblies)
  • Placement and anchoring of vendor supplied, interconnecting ductwork
  • Erection and anchoring of the piping / duct supports on concrete foundations and from building structural members including shimming & grouting wall closures around duct penetrations;
  • Installation of ducting on duct supports including assembly of duct fabrications, cutting of field trim allowances, and field welding of ducts/flanges and supports/ducts
  • Installation, field grooving, insulating and cladding, and field labelling of piping (according to British Standard 1710 standard)
  • Installation of fabric fan isolators between the fans and the ductwork
  • Support of pre-commissioning, commissioning and start-up activities (field representative to support start-up of fans, chillers, and pumps), and full provision of air-balancing (air-flow measurements), and hydronic first-fills and balancing (fluid flow measurements)

Salko Key Data:

Country, Location: United Kingdom, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Project Execution: 2020 – Present
Application: Deep Shaft Sinking
Key Project Activities: Procurement, Logistics, Expediting, Installation, Commissioning
Installed Ducting: 223.19 metres (Large Bore 1370mm)
Installed Glycol Pipework: 170.6 metres
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