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Application submitted for 1,000 job potash mine in North Yorkshire
A MINERAL mining company has submitted a planning application to mine what are thought to be the largest deposits of potash in the world in a UK national park.
Sirius Minerals want to build the mine on a site near Whitby, within the North York Moors National Park.
The firm says the planned York Potash Project will be unobtrusive and lead to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.
Sirius wants to build on the site, near the village of Sneaton, to access 1.3 billion tonnes of polyhalite discovered below the Yorkshire coastline.
Geologists believe this is the worlds biggest and best quality supply of the valuable mineral.
The firm says the mine would generate more than 1,000 direct jobs at full production and thousands of indirect jobs in the support and supply industries.
It also said it would create up to 1,800 jobs during construction.
Today, Sirius Minerals confirmed to the Stock Exchange it has submitted an application for planning permission to the North Yorks Moors National Park Authority.
Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius Minerals, 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.
"We have been extremely grateful for the wide-ranging support received during our extensive pre-application public consultations.
"A huge amount of technical work and studies have gone into the application and we believe that we have both put forward a robust planning case and set a new benchmark for sensitive design in the mining industry."
The York Potash Project would see a 1,500-metre mine sunk beneath the park, which would tunnel outwards and pump the polyhalite underground around 30 miles north to Teesside, where it would be processed.
The proposed site is around 4km south of Whitby on the B1416.
Initial designs released last year showed that the isolated site, in an existing commercial forestry block, would occupy less than 4.5 hectares of the 100-hectare site controlled by York Potash.
Parts of the mine would be sunken and covered by agricultural-style buildings and the site would be heavily screened by mature trees.
The company said it has conducted an extensive consultation which revealed 91 per cent of people responding were supportive of proposals with eight per cent undecided and less than one per cent against the new mine.
Sirius said it is expecting a decision from the park authority in May.
The National Park Authority said the application should be available for the public to view on its website next week.
It will also be available to the public at locations in Helmsley, Whitby and Scarborough.
The authority said it is planning to hold a public meetings as part of the consultation process.
A spokeswoman said: "As long as all the necessary information to assess the proposals has been provided, the authority hopes to be able to determine the application within 16 weeks as agreed with York Potash as part of the planning performance agreement for the project.
"The application will be considered by the National Park Authoritys members at a special planning committee meeting towards the end of the 16-week period."
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