A FIRM building a 1,000-job fertiliser mine is looking to tweak plans on the development.

Sirius Minerals wants to simplify elements of its York Potash project, based near Whitby.

Bosses say the amendments will make operations smoother and lessen any environmental impact during construction.

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They have also moved to play down a report in a media outlet that suggests Sirius has confirmed a supply deal with a Chinese operator, saying the agreement in question has been in place since last year.

Sirius already has planning permission to build the polyhalite mine, known as the Woodsmith Mine, which is expected to create more than 1,000 direct jobs and support a similar number in the supply chain when production begins in earnest.

According to its proposals, the changes include moving some buildings to accommodate permanent winders.

Used to shift goods from underground, the company says installing the towers in such a way will avoid the need for any temporary structures during the project’s five-year construction period.

Officials added they also want to move some ponds on the site, which they say will mean a number of trees identified for felling can now be retained.

A spokesman said: “The changes will mean the footprint of the site buildings will increase slightly, by less than six per cent.

“Building heights will not change and the site will still be screened as before.”

He added an application for the amendments is likely to be submitted later this summer.

Formal construction has now started on the Woodsmith Mine after weeks of preparatory work, which has included road improvements.

Earlier this year, The Northern Echo revealed the business, which has switched to the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market from the AIM Market to raise its international status, aims to start drilling mine shafts this summer, with work earmarked to begin between July and September.

The firm, which already has a stock of supply agreements in place, including a deal with a US-based firm to annually dispatch 1.5 million tonnes for at least seven years, is also speaking to potentially new clients, with crop trials having started in North America, Brazil, China, Africa and Asia.

However, bosses have played down a report claiming China’s Dian Huang has confirmed a huge fertiliser deal, pointing to the fact that the agreement was actually revealed in June last year.

Sirius will move its polyhalite underground on a transport system to Wilton, near Redcar, where it will be stored before being delivered to customers from a new harbour.