York Potash Project estimates it will invest £111.5m in jobs

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The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A MINING company has revealed plans for investing tens of millions of pounds in local construction jobs if plans to sink a mine in a national park are approved.

Details plans to mine the Potash mineral, polyhalite, about two miles from Whitby, in the North York Moors National Park, were revealed today (Thursday, January 7).

The proposals have already sharply divided opinion. Many people are deeply concerned about the environmental impact of the mine and pipeline, which will run through the moors to Teesside for processing. Others are keen to attract the investment and jobs to the region.

The application has now been submitted with the park authority reveal the billions of pounds of investment Sirius Minerals is looking to invest in the York Potash Project.

The first phase of the project, from 2013-17, will involve building the mine and Sirius Minerals says it expects to invest £1.32bn. Of that budget, £223m will be spent on the work force.

It claims 80 per cent direct employment will be filled by local workers, amounting to an investment of £111.5m.

Phase II from 2018 – 2024 would see the expansion of the mine, when Sirius Minerals has calculated it will invest a further £1.6bn, of which £111m will be spent on local construction labour.

But the plans also include hundreds of pages of information about the environmental implications of the mine and its pipeline, which will transport polyhalite in a brine solution to Teesside.

Official plans for the pipeline will be lodged separately with the National Infrastructure Directorate.  About 25km of the pipeline will pass through the national park.

The North York Moors is home to one of the rarest habitats in the world – peat bogs – of which Britain and Ireland support most of the world’s supply. The plans look at the impact on different breeding birds, habitats and other ecological considerations.

Simon Bowes, Yorkshire and Humberside campaigner for Friends of the Earth said: “One of our real concerns over this is the pipeline.

“We know the pipe will basically be a 50m-wide scar across the landscape and we know they mean to transport the potash in brine rather than water, which is something that hasn’t been done before on an industrial scale.

“National parks are designated national parks for a reason; for its landscape beauty and biodiversity.”

The plans can be viewed online at; northyorkmoors.org. uk

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