YORK Potash, the company proposing to build a potash mine south of Whitby, has been granted an offshore license to extract potash from beneath the seabed.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the public body that regulates the seas around England, has notified the company that is to approve the application for an offshore license, subject to appropriate conditions.

The company will only be able to extract potash from under the seabed if it receives planning permission for a new mine onshore, at its proposed site at a farm and forestry block south of Sneaton village.

In an update to the stock exchange this morning, Sirius Minerals said that it is currently finalising the planning application for the mine and expects to submit it to the North York Moors National Park Authority before the end of January.

A separate planning application for the mine's proposed underground transport system, a buried pipeline proposed to transport the ore from the mine to its processing and port area at Teesside, is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in February following consultation.

Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius said: “This is a step forward for the project as we continue to pull together our detailed planning applications for the mine and pipeline. We are grateful for the levels of support shown during our consultations and we remain focussed on maximising the many benefits that this project can bring for the local community.”