Global deals secured for potash mine

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DEVELOPERS behind controversial plans for a £1bn mining operation in a Yorkshire national park are set to disclose a revised timetable for the scheme after maintaining it is attracting global interest.

The bid to create the potash mine in the North York Moors National Park was hit by the latest in a series of delays in July owing to growing concerns over the project’s impact on the environment.

But York Potash announced yesterday it has secured commitments from customers in China, Latin America and Africa to provide 750,000 tonnes of polyhalite – a key mineral used in fertilisers – a year from the proposed mine near Whitby.

Chris Fraser, the managing director of Sirius Minerals, the parent company of York Potash, claimed the deals are a “further demonstration of the significant global demand”.

The North York Moors National Park Authority had been due to consider a planning application on July 29. But Sirius Minerals confirmed only 11 days before the planning meeting that it had sought more time to address issues relating to European habitat legislation and deal with questions on environmental assessments.

Sirius Minerals’ operations director Graham Clarke confirmed revised timescales will be disclosed in the “coming weeks”, and added: “We remain extremely confident of a positive outcome given the progress we are making.”