Sirius Minerals PLC, UK

Harnessing business information management

Sirius Minerals PLC is focused on becoming a world-leading producer of multi-nutrient fertiliser.

Key information

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Client’s requirements

The company’s immediate primary focus is the development of its North Yorkshire Polyhalite Project in the United Kingdom.

The project involves the construction of an underground mine, a 37km tunnel for the transportation of ore, and infrastructure for processing and shipping up to 20 million tonnes per annum of Polyhalite at full production. 

Coordination between the various parts of the infrastructure and the contractors involved is critical to the construction programme.

Our contribution

In order for Sirius Minerals to make better and more informed decisions about how the mine needs to be engineered now and operated in the future, they have chosen to develop a business information model (BIM) that will incorporate documentation, non-graphical information and 3D graphical models. BIM will see the centralisation of information and the development of an intuitive project wide model. 

“Sirius’ North Yorkshire Polyhalite Project is important not just to the Sirius team, but also to the wider community and ultimately to future global food production. The use of innovation and the harnessing of effective technologies are important elements in our drive for exceptional outcomes on our project. “Sirius understands that the use of information management can help us deliver our project safely, on time and on budget. Our modelling and engineering processes help us look ahead and plan effectively, and the information we will build with our supply chain will also help us through the commissioning process and into operation.”

The starting point of this innovative journey has been to prepare the supply chain for the demands of the model.  This has included developing a standard way that information is to be developed and shared by Sirius Minerals and its contractors across the project. 

The next step is to develop a platform that offers a central view of the construction so as to drive and improve collaboration between stakeholders, regardless of who they work for, where they are located or what information they hold.

These steps will provide Sirius, its suppliers and in-house implementation team with various possibilities as it assesses the model to find the most suitable information sharing option.

Sirius selected Turner & Townsend to help develop the knowledge management strategy and identify the key information and protocols that will enable effective BIM technologies.

Making the difference

George Mokhtar, BIM lead at Turner & Townsend says: “It’s a great opportunity to be involved in positioning the mine for a successful future by putting measures in place that will allow access to information previously not at the disposal of its owners.”

Mark Wainwright, Global Managing Director of Mining, Turner & Townsend said:  “We are delighted with the forward looking stance that Sirius has taken and their ability to take a discipline that is relatively uncommon in the mining sector, and use it for the good of the mine and ultimately their shareholders.

“This flagship mine has successfully passed through many potentially challenging gateways and we look forward to helping Sirius on its progress to production and beyond”.