Meet the Marshall’s: Boulby’s Aspiring Summer Interns

Two young students have recently completed a week finding out what it’s like working at ICL Boulby…and they’ve put pen to paper about their experience.

Sebastian and Elliott Marshall next to one of Boulby’s shafts used to transport workers underground.

Elliot and Sebastian Marshall are both pupils at Ryedale School in Nawton and during their time at the mine they took the opportunity to find out as much as possible about the operations at the world’s first and only producer of the ground-breaking mineral Polysulphate.

Says Elliott “I decided that I wanted to go to Boulby mine for my work experience because we recently moved to Loftus so it was very close to us and I’ve always been interested to see how it’s all operated.

During my time at the mine I was shown around and introduced to many new people. I was shown the shafts and how they’re operated and was even allowed to climb one and get a view of the entire place from above. I learned about all the different types of work and how each person’s role is important. In the geology department I was shown the mining techniques that Boulby uses and what paths they take underground. I was treated incredibly kindly by everyone I met during my time at the mine and I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to.”

Sebastian using a 4ft overhead crane.

Adds Sebastian “I decided to go to Boulby for work experience because I live nearby and thought it would be to see what the different departments there do, and how each plays a role in producing Polysulphate.

“During my time I was shown the large winding engines and other machinery used to allow transportation of minerals and people in and out of the mine via cages. We then climbed to the top of one of two shaft towers, being over 50m tall, which I learned provides fresh air to the potential 150 miners at any given time throughout the 26-mile shaft. I then learned about tribology, the study of surface interaction, and the properties of lubricant oils and their effect on machinery.

Sebastian and Elliott on a Zoom call from the Boulby Underground Lab with Chris Toff.

“In the geology department I used AutoCAD to plan a rough idea of the route the drillers would take. I was also taught about pseudomorphs, minerals replacing and taking the shape of another, and how polarised light allows different crystals to appear different colours and be more easily identifiable.”