Bid for local workers to benefit from £1bn mine

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THE managing director of a multi-national company has pledged to ensure local workers capitalise on the arrival of a £1bn mining operation as the proposals have been heralded as vital to boosting job opportunities.

The plans to create the potash mine in the North York Moors National Park have gleaned support from Ryedale District Council, a key consultee in the planning process. Officers claimed the development will provide much-needed highly paid jobs in an area blighted by low incomes.

Sirius Minerals submitted a planning application in January to the North York Moors National Park Authority, and a decision is due in May.

The managing director and CEO of Sirius Minerals, Chris Fraser, said: “We welcome the wide ranging and growing support for our plans that can deliver so much for the regional economy. We remain committed to continuing to work with local education and training providers to maximise the opportunity for local people.”

The company has claimed the mine, earmarked for a site near Whitby, is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs and a further 4,000 jobs in the wider economy. The council acknowledged more modest employment opportunities, with some 740 jobs in mining operations by 2016, and 1000 jobs by 2024. A further 2,000 jobs are expected to be indirectly created with 1,500 staff employed in the building of the mine, which is expected to have a lifespan of about 70 years.

Exploratory drilling work has pinpointed one of the world’s most extensive seams of potash, a key component in fertiliser to boost crop yields and satiate global food demand.