Demand for polyhalite could drive North York Moors mining plan


Demand for polyhalite could drive North York Moors mining plan

A proposed new mine in the North York Moors could be a success based on the fact there is a huge demand for the substance that is due to be extracted.

Sirius Minerals wants to create a £1.5 billion mine in the national park that would aim to extract a substantial quantity of polyhalite each year. It noted it has already secured international deals to deliver about 750,000 tonnes of potash each year, reports the Northern Echo.

Bosses at the company say the contracts are proof that there is a huge global demand for polyhalite, making the mining of it an essential task. Should the plans for the new mine in Yorkshire be given the green light by local planning chiefs, Sirius Minerals would extract about 2.78 million tonnes of the material every year.

Sinoagri, one of the largest fertiliser distributors in China, has signed a deal that would allow it to receive 500,000 tonnes of polyhalite every year if the mine becomes a reality. Another 250,000 tonnes would be distributed to organisations in Africa and Latin America.

What's more, the York Potash Project also stands to create about 1,000 mining jobs, many of which could be taken up by local people. Such a raft of job creation is sure to provide the area with a significant economic boost.

Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive officer at Sirius Minerals, said: "This is a further demonstration of the significant global demand for polyhalite from the York Potash Project. We have only been formally marketing polyhalite for nine months, so to have secured agreements covering almost 60 per cent of the initial production target of five million tonnes a year and to be in discussions that could see us potentially over sold, is extremely encouraging."

The firm has only recently signed another contract with Chinese firm Yunnan TCT Yong-Zhe that requires it to provide one million tonnes of polyhalite every year from 2017 onwards.