THE firm behind a mine that could create up to 5,000 jobs in the region has reduced development costs by about £700m and could have the facility up and running within four years, if plans go ahead, it emerged yesterday.
Further engineering work has revealed York Potash, which wants to start mining what is thought to be the world’s largest deposit of the mineral polyhalite, used to make fertiliser component potash, can reduce the cost of creating the mine from £1.7bn to £1bn and complete it three months faster.
The statement was released to the City yesterday by Sirius Minerals, the international mining firm that owns York Potash.
The project at Sneaton, near Whitby, could create up to 1,000 direct and 4,000 indirect jobs, but the high costs involved in extracting the mineral has prompted Sirius to launch a search for potential investors. It is also planning to crush and sell granular polyhalite rather than incur the high costs of processing the mineral. Yesterday, Sirius unveiled a project study update which outlines the reduced pre-production capital costs, which the firm says reduces project risk for investors and makes new jobs more likely.
The changes to the proposals will still necessitate an underground pipeline to a distribution plant in Teesside, and will not affect the final number of jobs.
Following detailed work, the company’s engineering team believes the mine could be constructed at least three months earlier than previously thought, further minimising the impact of the project’s construction.
Sirius also announced the results of a concept study which confirms the viability of producing NPK fertilisers using polyhalite, the potash ore targeted by the project, which is a source of potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium.
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