The first freight train of material for the construction of a new polyhalite mine in North Yorkshire has arrived in Teesside.

The train, which was carrying some of the aggregates needed for the project arrived at logistics expert, AV Dawson’s Teesside freight terminal, where it was unloaded for onward delivery by road to the site.

The ambitious £2.4bn Sirius Minerals project includes the construction of the recently named Woodsmith Mine near Whitby and a 23-mile tunnel to transport the mined ore to processing and harbour facilities on Teesside.

Sirius Minerals, the company behind the project, has almost completed highways works to improve access to the mine, with construction at the site set to start imminently ready for the mine’s planned opening in 2021. The project will create over 1,000 jobs once it’s operational and around 2,000 construction jobs.

AV Dawson is providing its logistics expertise and local knowledge to support Sirius Minerals and several contractors involved in the construction of the facility, which at full production is forecast to produce 20m tonnes of polyhalite per year – generating £2.5bn in exports and contributing £2.3bn to UK GDP.

Neil McShane, AV Dawson rail manager said: “Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aggregates are needed for a project of this size. With these volumes we’re keen to promote rail wherever we can for the increased efficiencies and environmental benefits it can provide.

“We’ve been in discussion with the various teams involved in this project for a while now. It’s really exciting to see this first train bringing aggregates into our rail terminal in preparation for the start of construction when this incredible project for the region actually becomes a reality.   

“We’re on hand to support the project in a number of ways, including rail and road haulage, importing material through our quayside and also providing a stockpiling facility to allow Sirius to better manage supply of aggregate by road to the site.”