Last year the company invested nearly £390 million (US$514 million) in the project, with excavation of the mineral transport tunnel from Teesside passing 18km by the end of the year, beyond the intermediate access shaft site at Lockwood Beck.
The Lockwood Beck shaft is complete, having reached its target depth of 383m and shaft lining is currently underway. At the mine head itself, shaft boring has started in the services shaft, while progress is also being made on the production shaft infrastructure.
Cutifani confirmed that the company is working on a number of changes to the design of the project to create an enhanced configuration and to ensure the project meets Anglo American's safety and operating standards, as well as its commercial objectives given the very long life of the mine.
"This is a world-class fertiliser project and a business segment that we are even more positive about than when we acquired the project," said Cutifani.
"This is a very long-life asset and a product for which we see increasing market interest as the commercial trials demonstrate its crop yield and numerous environmental qualities, so we are going to take the necessary time to get every aspect of the design right to match our long term vision and value aspirations."
Investment in 2022 is expected to be around £440 million as new project lead Tom McCulley, who took over as CEO of Anglo American's Crop Nutrients business in January, further develops the detailed design engineering, with expected changes to the phasing of work, particularly at the Woodsmith mine site.
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