A mining company has reaffirmed its commitment to a major investment in Yorkshire, confirming it will go ahead with the £1.5 billion scheme designed to extract polyhalite from the region. Sirius Minerals has created plans that would see it invest the huge sum and generate as many as 1,000 jobs as part of a project that would see it mine polyhalite - a form of the fertiliser potash - from a new mine built under the North York Moors. The Northern Echo has told how Sirius Minerals bosses have rejected the idea that pricing concerns are putting the idea in jeopardy. Instead, they believe the value of the polyhalite reserves in the area would provide it with a vital financial buffer. Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of the company, said there are firm foundations on which the business plan is built. The York Potash Project is described as holding a niche position within the mining industry. "There is little doubt that potential reductions in muriate prices present a problem for existing high cost producers, which could in turn lead to further supply consolidation," Mr Fraser stated. "However, the York Potash Project has a robust business model to underpin its financing and development into a long-term independent supplier." Speculation over the success of the scheme was raised after in-house broker Jefferies revealed its belief that significantly lower target share prices are the reality. Fears are also based on the decision made by Russian potash firm Uralkali to withdraw from a deal with Belarussian partner Belaruskali. Mr Fraser admitted that volatility in the potash market is a trigger of speculation and this demonstrates how risky the supply of the mineral from just a small number of producers is. Should such a significant investment be made in the Yorkshire area, it may persuade young people throughout the county and beyond to seek mining jobs or gain the qualifications and experience required to secure them.
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