A FIRM hoping to build a potash mine in North Yorkshire has signed a 10-year deal with a Chinese company.

Sirius Minerals wants to drill about 2.6 billion tonnes of polyhalite fertiliser at Sneaton, near Whitby, North Yorkshire.

The company says it will create more than 6,000 jobs in ten years and put about £55m into the local economy, and has signed a contract with Yunnan TCT Yong-Zhe to supply one million tonnes of polyhalite every year from 2017.

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The North York Moors National Park Authority is due to discuss a planning application for the mine on July 29.

Chris Fraser, Sirius Minerals' managing director and chief executive, said: “This is a major milestone further demonstrating the market for polyhalite in the largest fertiliser market in the world.”

Sirius already has deals in place with fertiliser distributors and manufacturers across the world, including one to supply 1.75 million tonnes of the mineral every year to Swiss firm, Keytrade AG.