UK potash mine tower ready for destruction

The thousand or so residents of East Cleveland town Boulby may need earplugs on Monday: A 164-foot potash mine tower will come crashing down as part of a mine redevelopment project.

Cleveland Potash, the owner of the UK's only potash mine, has hired demolition company D-Drill to perform a controlled destruction of the Rockshaft Tower which was put up nearly 50 years ago, the BBC reports.

Because the tower reaches so far into the earth it's not a simple matter of blowing it up, the demolition manager told Gazette Live. Instead workers have been making a series of cuts throughout the week which will culminate in one final cut on Monday; then the 2,700 tonnes of concrete will crumble.

The old and corroded construction will be replaced with a more modern design as part of a £300 million mine renovation initiative – this portion of the redevelopment will run the company £15 million.

By renewing the mine which began operating in 1973, Cleveland Potash expects to produce an additional 1 million tonnes of ore, add 270 jobs to the area and continue extracting for another 40 years.

The Boulby mine extracts potash from as far deep as 7km underneath the North Sea and supplies the United Kingdom with about 55% of its potash product. It is the second deepest mine in Europe.

Image from The BBC