A POTASH firm behind plans for a new mine has signed another sales agreement.

Sirius Minerals, which wants to mine polyhalite under the North York Moors National Park, near Whitby, has agreed a deal with a US Fortune 500 company.

Bosses say the contract would see the agri-business annually take at least 500,000 tonnes of polyhalite, which is a form of the fertiliser potash, for at least five years.

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The product would be sold in North America and parts of Africa, South-East Asia and Central America, with an option to take up an extra 500,000 tonnes a year.

Chris Fraser, Sirius Minerals' managing director and chief executive, said: “There can be no greater endorsement of the market for polyhalite or importance of the Yorkshire coast to the world's fertiliser industry than a multi-year take or pay off-take agreement with such a significant global agri-business.”

Last year, Sirius, which says the mine could create about 1,000 jobs, revealed agreements with companies in China.

The contracts include deals with Sinoagri, one of China's largest fertiliser distributors, for 500,000 tonnes of polyhalite every year in a ten-year partnership, with fellow Chinese firm Yunnan TCT YongZhe ready to receive one million tonnes of polyhalite every year from 2017.

Deals are also in place for thousands of tonnes to be sent to Latin America and Africa every year.

The mine, known as the York Potash Project, stalled last July when bosses deferred sending plans to the North York Moors National Park Authority to address environmental concerns.

They expect to re-submit the proposals later this year.