A “SIGNIFICANT” number of new jobs are set to be created at Boulby Mine following the award of a £15million grant from the Government.
The grant is one of the biggest awards made during the first round of the UK’s Regional Growth Fund programme and will also protect the future of the 850-strong workforce currently employed at the mine.
Cleveland Potash (CPL) managing director Graham Clarke said: “After 30 years of mining potash and rock salt at Boulby, CPL has amassed deep mining experience and we have already committed over £12million for the polyhalite project.
“Polyhalite has the potential to make a positive impact on world agriculture while safeguarding the long-term future of the Boulby Mine and providing a much-needed boost to the local and regional economy.”
The Boulby Mine is one of the deepest in Europe and is owned by ICL Fertilizers.
The grant will allow the continued extraction of polyhalite ore, an element used in potash fertilizer, with over a billion tonnes estimated to lie in the deposits under Boulby Mine.
Dani Chen, chief executive officer of ICL Fertilizers, said: “The expertise available at Boulby and the fact that the polyhalite deposits are so close to CPL’s existing mines will make the extraction operation much easier and more cost-effective.
“We have already invested substantially in feasability and commercialisation studies, and have created a new roadway to provide access to the polyhalite seam offshore.
“The availability of grant assistance from the UK Government will help us make a final decision regarding the project.”
The North Yorkshire coast is the only location in the UK where potash deposits are found.
The polyhalite will be processed at a plant to be constructed in the Tees Valley area.