NYMNPA - Potash Decision

Mortal Mindy's picture

NYMNPA - Update : "Amec Foster Wheeler, the Authority’s environmental consultant, has submitted its review of the environmental information submitted as part of the York Potash planning application. This is an important report and is one of a number of review documents commissioned by the Authority as part of its assessment of the planning application. These documents can all be viewed on the links provided below under the heading ‘National Park commissioned reports’. Preparation of the Director of Planning’s report for consideration by Members at the Special Planning Committee Meeting is now being completed. It is our intention that the report will be posted on the Authority's website at 7.00am on Thursday 18 June 2015."

The Amec Foster Wheeler (AWF) reports are here:

The following reports have been prepared by Amec, Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd:

source: http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/planning/york-potash

Until the Officers report is published it remains speculative if the likely 'open' recommendation still stands.

"Klaatu... Barada ... Nikto"  ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VtcOCHePB4 ;-)

String theory  ...   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd2s-5pFMVI








Mortal Mindy's picture

RDC, SBC & NYCC support Potash Project


"TWO local authorities have announced their full support to a planning application for a new potash mine.

Both Scarborough Borough Council and Ryedale District Council say the proposed mine near Whitby, would transform the economic fortunes of North Yorkshire for generations to come.

A joint statement released by the two councils describes the development of the proposed potash mine for Sirius Minerals Plc, known as the York Potash Project, as representing the "biggest inward investment for many decades", creating "an unprecedented economic opportunity".

North Yorkshire County Council has already backed the controversial proposal, which is set to be determined at a meeting of the North York Moors National Park planning authority at the end of this month.

Councillor Derek Bastiman, leader of Scarborough Borough Council said: “We are wholeheartedly in favour of the York Potash planning application. The development of the new mine is critical to enabling the Borough of Scarborough and Ryedale to further diversify their economies and to create a more resilient economic base.

"We recognise the significant impact it would have on transforming the short and long term economic prospects of our communities, through the creation of new jobs, supplier chain opportunities and inward investment, both during construction and once operational."


Cllr Linda Cowling, leader of Ryedale District Council, added: “The mine site is within travel to work distance for many of our residents in Ryedale and all the benefits that accrue from this application will, overall, have a very positive effect in Ryedale and adjoining areas.

“It is a huge opportunity to grow the economy and provide apprenticeships and opportunities for our young people who are looking to forge a career and remain in the district where they grew up.”


Mortal Mindy's picture

Northern Echo 'Decision Looms'

Finally, the Northern Echo's Stephen Hugill gets to chat with Chris Fraser :-) Eh, Mr Fraser? Anyhow its a full spread on hard copy and some nice photos ...


"On the subject of the scheme’s critics, Mr Fraser is clear on the worries presented and how they will be nullified.

He admits construction will deliver a change to the look of the landscape, but says such amendments will disappear when the mine starts production.

He said: “People have forgotten about mining, it is what made Great Britain great.

“If it is not grown, it is mined.

“That is the reality.

“We are mining something that grows food, which is multi-nutritional and offers more crop yield.

“This is a unique opportunity to access the world’s largest and highest grade polyhalite resource.

“We are extremely mindful of the location beneath the North York Moors National Park and take our responsibility for minimising the potential impact on the area very seriously.

“We will have to set up temporary structures during the build and there will be a few more trucks on the road.

“But, for every six trucks that are already on the road in and around Whitby, we will put an extra one there.

“Getting to this stage, we have spent approximately £125m.

“A lot of that is drilling the resource, the engineering, environmental studies and crop studies.

“We have done the consultation right; the public support is there and it is widespread.

“People in the area understand this; farmers understand fertiliser and people are seeing a need for change over employment levels.

“This will benefit the region and the economy and it is permanent.”

Sirius’ plans focus on extracting the polyhalite from its mine shafts before transporting it underground via a conveyor belt through a tunnel to a proposed handling site at Wilton, near Redcar, for granulation, storage and distribution.

A decision on an adjoining harbour, earmarked for Bran Sands, on the mouth of the River Tees, to load ships, is expected in summer 2016.

The plans to go underground, says Mr Fraser, means there is no need for huge, unsightly towers, a fact which seemingly chimed with Redcar and Cleveland Council officials when they approved the mine and the transport system earlier this year.

“The council decision was a good result for us, we were really happy with that, and we hope the park can be the same, but they have to look at their policies”, he said.

“We have done everything we think we can to minimise the impact of construction work.

“The people in the local area will know it is there, but for those out of the region, to know it was there you would have to stand in the site or have a helicopter to see it.

“Conveyors are a common thing in the mining industry, but using what we have is a little bit different and it also means we can manage it better; there are no external factors or weather impacts.

“The US and Canadian companies talk about how big their towers are, but the benefit of what we are trying to do is that we do not need towers.

“We will have the temporary structures and need them to build the mine, but then they are gone.

“The tunnel means we are not on the road with trucks or using trains to take the polyhalite away, it is underground.”

When operating at full capacity, Sirius says it will have 725 people working directly at the mine.

Those employees will cover four shifts, with about 175, mostly underground, at a time.

It already has around 60 people on board, with half originally from the local area, and the rest now living here.

Mr Fraser says it is committed to getting more local workers in to strengthen the talent pool.

He said: “What this project will do is open opportunities for kids in the area to have well-paid and challenging careers.

“They can see something like this is happening and see this is a viable industry.

“A local workforce is the best workforce for any project because they know the area.

“For those in university, who are having to make the decision on a career path, to know that there is an engineering career where they can stay in the area is very big.

“There are 1,000 long-term, well-paid jobs that are not tied to tourism.

“We are doing something real; this is tangible.

“Can you imagine the amount of supermarkets you will need to build the local economy up by ten per cent?”

Sirius already has a number of agreements with international companies to supply polyhalite, with total sales commitments standing at more than six million tonnes a year.

They include Sinoagri, one of China’s largest fertiliser distributors, which is set to receive 500,000 tonnes every year in a ten-year partnership.

If Sirius’ plans are granted, the North Yorkshire mine will supply to a market already containing ICL Fertilizers, which runs a site up the coast road at Boulby, in east Cleveland.

That company, known by many under its Cleveland Potash name, produces more than a million tonnes of potash for fertilisers and more than half a million tonnes of salt every year.

It previously announced it will invest £38m, backed by a significant slice of Government Regional Growth cash, to support a project extracting polyhalite.

Bosses hope to be producing up to 600,000 tonnes annually by 2018, armed by research claiming potential deposits of more than one billion tonnes could lie under the potash it already mines.

They also told The Northern Echo the work will be complemented by a near £50m plant to turn fine polyhalite into granules for agricultural use.

ICL has not been shy in objecting to Sirius’ plans, claiming the York Potash work could cause a regional skills shortage, halt its expansion and cause it to be blamed for underground subsidence.

You might expect Mr Fraser to come out fighting against such statements, but his response is measured, saying ICL’s polyhalite focus will actually be beneficial to Sirius.

He also touched on opportunities for the pair to work together, on areas such as skills and training.

He added: “For them to be out there selling and marketing polyhalite is good.

“For the next four to five years, the market is being seeded by them, which is good for us and good the UK.

“Farmers are very cautious; they will start looking at something in one field, then two and build from there.

“You can only go so far on samples; people want to test things and want to see it in the real world.

“We know we are going to have a lot of advantages; our mine is being built to produce polyhalite, ICL’s is an add-on.

“At full production, we will produce 13 million tonnes of polyhalite a year, making us one of the most significant large-scale suppliers of multi-nutrient fertiliser.

“Competition is good; there are opportunities for us to work together, and the market is more than big enough for the both of us.”

Anyhow its about to hit BBC Look North any minute nows ... no doubt the usual Chadwick and ooh a mine in Whitby !!? wots that all about then : -)

And one Hugill did earlier :


“Unite has questioned the madhouse economics of the proposal, after a clear admission from the company management this would not reduce any costs.

“Flexibility would be reduced, pensions harmed, and morale smashed.”

However, ICL, which operates the UK’s only potash mine and employs more than 1,200 workers, rejected the claims.

A spokesman said: “Already the vast majority of domestic cleaning across the site is undertaken by a single contractor.

“In order to rationalise the situation and bring all domestic cleaning work under the same arrangements, a small number of posts involved in the amenities and bath house areas will be transferred to the contractor."

filed. fish - are they grown or mined?

Benefitz Betty's picture

The Day the Earth Stood Still ...


"...The North York Moors “is more threatened now than at any time in the last four decades” says campaigner Tom Chadwick, who today joins calls for the Government to demonstrate its commitment to protecting England’s National Parks.

Sirius Minerals plans to start construction of Britain’s largest potash mine at Sneatonthorpe after the firm secured funding and the backing of councillors wooed with the promise of more than 1,000 jobs.

“Basically what they are going to do is re-engineer 100 acres of the National Park (NP),” said Mr Chadwick, chairman of the North Yorkshire Moors Association. “They are going to demolish a traditional smallholding and a lot of trees and re-engineer the landscape with 1.5 million cubic metres of spoil.

“There have been pressures from central Government particularly in terms of statements about the Northern Powerhouse. If that means industrialising National Parks, I think something is seriously wrong.”


Mr Chadwick believes once the enormity of the plans reveal themselves – including, he says, one HGV every three minutes during peak construction on the A171 into Whitby – many will be shocked. “It will be a huge construction site, bigger than anything seen before in a NP and will completely wreck in our view an area of the NP. They should have the best protection of any designated landscape and this knocks a hole through that.”

The threat of fracking is also looming after the Government allowed drilling underneath the Moors as well as in adjacent areas. Meanwhile, a large holiday complex, including a hotel and up to 300 lodges, in the Dales village of Hellifield, would campaigners say, “change the setting of the (Yorkshire Dales) NP with a potentially ugly development”

Research carried out for the Campaign for National Parks, CPRE and the National Trust suggests short-term economic priorities are overriding long-held protections and allowing inappropriate development. In the case of the potash mine the strongest argument proved to be the “transformational” economic benefit of more than 1,000 jobs.

The research, by Sheffield Hallam University, found decisions to approve applications often reflect Government “mood” at the time, with policy changes leaning toward economic growth rather than environmental protection.


Mark Corner, chairman of the Yorkshire Dales Society, points to quarrying in Upper Ribblesdale as an example of where he believes the “major development test”, the central planning protection for the landscape in the parks, should be properly applied.

A quarry run by Tarmac was due to close last June, but the firm applied for an extension. The application has been deferred to decide the minimum amount of stone which can be carried by road. But Mr Corner says quarrying is incompatible with the Park. There is the quarry and “around 400 HGVs come through the Dales and the beautiful market town of Settle daily. It looks horrible, there’s a safety issue and it’s not environmentally friendly”.

It also, he says, fails the test, which says something should only go ahead if there are exceptional circumstances. “The test says can it only be got from here? The answer is: No. ‘Is there a detrimental impact on the environment and the landscape?’ Palpably the answer is yes.

“As soon as there’s a fear of being seen to turn down potential jobs, the test takes a back seat, which cannot be right.”



"Polyhalite Mine News 

Sirius Minerals have announced a financing arrangement for developing their polyhalite mine in the National Park. Referred to as ‘Phase 1 funding’, this will be for the construction of the mine-head and tunnel. It includes a deal with the Australian mining company, Hancock Prospecting Pty which is a family business led by a wealthy Australian climate change sceptic Gina Hope Rinehart. The other parts of the financing are through a share offer and a convertible bond offering. Sirius claim to have raised £352 million from the share offering, though interest payments on the convertible bond will cost around £200 million over the next seven years. A second phase of funding will have to be raised on the debt market, amounting to US$1.8 billion for the construction of the harbour facilities on Teesside. This continues to be a high risk venture with uncertainties on construction time and exposure to cost overruns. 
The financing of the mine is also dependent on acquiring new planning permission at some stage for increased mineral extraction and new infrastructure development though it is not clear what this will be. Meanwhile it is expected that the County Highways Department will be starting on major road works to deal with construction traffic in 2017. Further geotechnical studies are to be undertaken at the mine-head. "