Potash mine plans published online

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PUBLIC views are being sought on plans to create a potash mine within the North York Moors National Park.

Documents setting out details of the proposed York Potash project, which is forecast to create more than 700 jobs, are now online for inspection and comment.

A public meeting will also be held – at the Raven Hall Hotel, Ravenscar, on March 13 at 1.30pm, as part of the North York Moors National Park Authority’s 16-week consultation process.

The proposed mine head site at Dove’s Nest Farm, just over a mile south of the village of Sneaton, near Whitby, is surrounded by heather moorland, protected as a site of special scientific interest to the south and west.

The mine designs show it largely concealed underground, but a complex of buildings could be 13 metres – or about 42ft – tall.

The proposals also include the construction of two 44.5km pipelines to transport the fertiliser component to a processing plant on Teesside. The pipes will be buried 1.8m deep, crossing about 26km of the National Park.

Mining company Sirius Minerals submitted a planning application at the end of last month to build the mine and extract the potash. The company said test drillings showed the area contains some of the world’s biggest deposits of the potassium-containing salts, which are used mainly in fertilisers.

As much as 20 million tonnes of polyhalite – a mineral-rich form of potash – may be extracted annually, most of which will be for overseas markets. The mine is expected to take about four years to build if consent is granted in May.

The plans are online – at www.northyorkmoors.org.uk. They can also be inspected at the Authority’s office in Helmsley, Whitby Town Council’s office at Pannett Park, Whitby, and at Scarborough Town Hall. To book a place at the public meeting, call Fiona Farnell on 01439 772700 or email f.farnell@northyorkmoors.org.uk.

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