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Cafe Scientifique: A major project to mine Polyhalite

Cafe Scientifque: A major project to mine Polyhalite, a natural fertiliser unique to North Yorkshire

Peter Woods
Consultant to Sirius Minerals

Peter will describe how salts deposited by evaporation from ancient inland seas and were then trapped deep in the earth. Their discovery contributed to the birth and success of ICI Agricultural division on Teesside. Later Boulby mine opened to exploit the discovery of potassium salts.

More recently mining has begun of unique deposits of polyhalite –a compound of the sulphates of potassium, calcium and magnesium-at Boulby. A new multimillion project is being developed by Sirius Minerals to mine exclusively these deposits of polyhalite which will be a valuable fertiliser.

Peter is a graduate in Geology of Cambridge University. He began his career with De Beers in Tanzania looking for diamonds; then moved via Botswana to Nigeria prospecting for diamonds and molybdenum.

In 1967 he helped create the potash mine in Boulby, North Yorks. Later he returned to look for diamonds this time in Canada. More recently he has been involved in diverse environmental projects. But in 2011 he came out of retirement to participate in the development by the mining company Sirius Minerals of the new polyhalite mine in North Yorkshire

Tue 18 Jul


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Led by: 
Peter Woods