Business leaders have described the potash scheme as the biggest private investment project in the north of England “by a billion miles”.
But it is hugely controversial and environmentalists and organisations including the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the National Trust have campaigned against it.
The Woodsmith Mine, located south of Whitby, will have an initial production capacity of 10 million tonnes per annum and full production of 20 million tonnes each year.
All mined polyhalite will be transported underground to the materials handling facility in Teesside. The site was named in honour of two geologists who helped make it possible: Peter Woods and Rick Smith.