York Potash, the company proposing a new deep mine between Whitby and Scarborough, said its latest chemical analysis confirmed “outstanding” quality of potash from its first bore hole.
Sirius Minerals, the company behind the project, said detailed analysis from the British Geological Survey in Nottingham showed 22 metres of high-grade polyhalite across three beds.
The group said the grade and thickness have significantly exceeded the company’s previous exploration targets.
Chris Fraser, Sirius chief executive said: “We’re delighted with these outstanding results, but there is obviously a still a long way to go and we’re working hard to complete the other temporary drilling sites as quickly as possible.
“The York Potash Project is potentially one of the world’s most significant projects.”
The temporary drilling programme is extracting sample cores of potash from around a mile underground at the proposed site.
The proposed new mine could lead to the creation of around 5,000 jobs, with 1,000 skilled jobs required for the mining operation itself. A further 4,000 would be created in the wider economy as a result.
Sirius said any plans would use state-of-the-art technology and engineering so the project minimises its impact on the local environment.
No location for a potential minehead has yet been identified as the drilling phase is required first to establish the underground conditions.
The project area is broadly in the area between Scarborough and Whitby.