A COMPANY aiming to build a £1.5 billion mine in a national park has denied it intends to scale back the plans.

Sirius Minerals says it still wants to extract up to 15 million tonnes of polyhalite every year from under the North York Moors National Park, near Whitby.

A report from the park’s planning committee had claimed the firm was looking to reduce annual mining work, which it said could damage the scheme’s local economic benefits.

Park bosses also questioned the quality of polyhalite, a form of the fertiliser potash, saying it could be limited to niche markets.

However, a spokesman for Sirius, which has a number of deals to sell its product globally, said it remains focused on extracting its maximum capacity of between 12 and 15 million tonnes of polyhalite every year if the mine is approved.

The development, known as the York Potash Project, could create up 1,000 jobs, but stalled last year when plans were deferred to address environmental concerns.