A MINE which could create 1,000 direct jobs in the region could be up and running by 2016, if plans go ahead, it emerged today (December 3).

Further engineering work from parent company Sirius Minerals has revealed York Potash’s proposed polyhalite mine near Whitby could be completed as soon as 2016, which also showed the estimated cost for constructing the mine will be reduced to just over £1bn.

In a statement to the City this morning, the company unveiled a Project Study Update which outlines the reduced pre-production capital costs, which the firm says reduces project risk for investors and makes the 1,000 direct and 4,000 indirect jobs more likely.

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Following detailed work, the company’s engineering team believes the mine could be constructed at least three months faster than previously thought, further minimising the impact of the project’s construction.

Sirius also announced the results of a Concept Study which confirms the viability of producing NPK fertilisers using polyhalite, the potash ore targeted by the project, which is a source of potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium.

The company believes that this would be an innovative way of producing NPK fertilisers with all six macro nutrients that plants need for growth.

At the moment, most of the world’s potash is typically mixed with nitrogen and phosphorous to create NPK fertilizers which allow farmers to provide balanced nutrients to their crops.

Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius Minerals said: “This study shows that we can significantly reduce the capital costs of the mine and construct the project quicker than we previously anticipated – speeding up the job creation and all the associated benefits of the project for the region.

“This is an important milestone for the York Potash Project because it outlines how, by maximising the unique benefits of polyhalite, we can become a world leader in the fertilizer industry, helping to provide a solution to the growing issue of global food security.”