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Business & Economy

Digital firm Animmersion supports Sirius Minerals’ polyhalite mine development

A digital services firm is working alongside a mining company to support its multi-billion pound fertiliser project.

Animmersion is collaborating with Sirius Minerals as it develops the UK’s first deep mine in 40 years.

The Middlesbrough-based company is helping Sirius visualise the installation of the first 1,800-tonne tunnel boring machine that will be used to construct a 23-mile mineral transportation tunnel from Whitby to Teesside.

Sirius Minerals is building a polyhalite mine on the outskirts of Whitby, which it says will lead to the creation of more than 1,000 full-time jobs in North Yorkshire and Teesside when operational in 2021.

Mining the fertiliser polyhalite from its Woodsmith Mine, Sirius will transport the mineral 23 miles underground to a processing plant at Wilton, Redcar.

The processed fertiliser will then be transported via a conveyor to a harbour facility for shipping.

Animmersion has been working with Sirius Minerals for the past 12 months to create accurate 3D animations of the engineering processes and infrastructure of the project.

The company uses the animations to educate and inform the public and investors about the unique engineering challenges, solutions, progress and future plans of the project.

Having already produced animations to demonstrate the D-Walling process, the materials handling facility and the port, Animmersion will follow on from the tunnelling project to additionally create visualisations of the sinking of the shaft, the mine and a project overview.

This is the latest project secured by Animmersion to support the promotion and community engagement of Sirius Minerals’ operation.

The team are using multi-disciplinary capabilities and have extensive experience in digital media and immersive solution deployment, ranging from 3D animation and content through to interactive software development, game design and virtual reality.

Dominic Lusardi, Animmersion owner and managing director, said: “We want to create a full suite of immersive and advanced visualisation for Sirius, including VR, AR, interactive maps and holograms as a collection of digital tools, which allow Sirius to use them through promotion, compliance and training.

“This development is a fascinating and major piece of infrastructure, which will have effects locally, regionally and globally as the fertiliser developed could feed the rest of the world for the next 50 years.

“Digital visualisation has so many beneficial applications for a cross-section of industries, providing both practical and marketing applications, which can help to communicate their facilities, products and services.”

Maurice Rankin, Sirius Minerals’ general manager for corporate communications, said: “We are using immersive technology to explain the opportunities available from this significant development and its positive impact on the local area, the country and world at large.

“It is a pleasure to work alongside a forward-thinking company that will exploit digital technology to explain our great ideas and industry-defining project.”