During operations in mid September the one-millionth tonne of polyhalite was brought to the surface at Boulby mine, UK.
The full mining team - from those who work at great depths to all those in the sophisticated support systems that keep production going - marked the one millionth tonne landmark event and announced rising productivity in the only mine in the world to produce the mineral marketed as Polysulphate.
Output is increasing. Mark Elliott, Polyhalite Production Manager at Boulby, revealed that production has reached 327,000 tonnes so far this year. The target to mine 450,000 tonnes by the year end is likely to be achieved.
Engineering minds have been focused on improving efficiency. Polyhalite is so hard that the cutting heads of the machine that bites the mineral from the rock were having to be replaced at the rate of as many as one hundred a shift. They re-designed the cutter heads, which now last five times longer, increasing production per shift.
Greater productivity below ground is helping meet fast increasing demand from farmers worldwide for the polyhalite product. More and more farmers - whether running conventional or organic systems - are switching to this natural and balanced fertilizer that begins its journey deep below ground and makes such a difference in the fields above.