A £38million plan to develop Boulby Mine was given a major boost this week.
Cleveland Potash operates the mine, near Staithes, and discovered yesterday it was to receive £4.9million from the Government under its Regional Growth Fund programme.
The project will allow Boulby miners to extract polyhalite from deposits located below the potash - the mineral targeted at Boulby throughout the mine’s 41-year lifespan.
General manager Phil Baines said: “We are now in a position to move ahead with the first phase of our plans and we are pleased that the Government has recognised the potential for establishing the UK as a pioneer in the extraction and marketing of this new mineral which can make a significant positive impact on world agriculture.
“At the same time it will help to safeguard the future of the Boulby mine and provide a much-needed boost to the local and regional economy.”
The £38m project will involve installing new underground equipment, building new surface facilities to process the material, and upgrading transport links to ship the product worldwide.
Cleveland Potash estimates that it will create 125 direct jobs and 265 indirect jobs.
Deposits of polyhalit found beneath potash deposits around Boulby are estimated to be in excess of a billion tonnes, lying more than 1.5km offshore.