A £1 billion potash mine in North Yorkshire could be one step closer to becoming a reality, now plans have been submitted to North Yorkshire County Council.
The scheme could see more than 1,000 jobs created at the site just outside Whitby, in the North York Moors National Park. It was announced to the London Stock Exchange yesterday.
Chris Fraser, managing director and CEO of Sirius Minerals, said the plan was “a new benchmark for sensitive design in the mining industry”. He expected the plans to be approved by North Yorkshire County Council in May.
He said: “The York Potash Project will deliver an unrivalled level of investment for North Yorkshire, creating significant new jobs and improving local skills for generations to come.
“This is a major milestone for the company and one that we believe brings us closer to the first day of construction and production at the York Potash Project.
“This is a nationally significant project with many local benefits and we have been extremely grateful for the wide ranging support received during our extensive pre-application public consultations.”
Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said he welcomed the announcement: “I am 100 per cent behind the application, and the fact they are pumping material in pipelines rather than building a road or railway line is the least environmentally damaging way of doing it.
“I made it clear at the start we couldn’t give Potash a blank cheque and I think steps they have taken to address the environmental concerns recognise that. There is tremendous public support in the area and it will benefit for the local and national economy and should, I believe, have a positive impact on local communities.”
Developers Sirius said the site, which is close to the village of Sneaton, has access to 1.3 billion tonnes of the mineral polyhalite, believed to be the world’s biggest supply, and the mine would create more than 1,000 direct jobs, thousands of indirect jobs in the support and supply industries, and 1,800 jobs during construction.
Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, worked with the developers at the Selby Jobs Fair, and he said the mine would benefit communities across the region, including former miners.
He said: “A project of this scale in terms of long term jobs and prosperity for North Yorkshire is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I very much hope the planning authorities grasp it.”