A NEW mine on the North Yorkshire coast may appear a year sooner than expected, with Sirius Minerals saying they also expect to half the construction costs.
The ‘Project Study Update’, published on Tuesday, has outlined the latest plans for the mine, which the company says is “cheaper, quicker and safer” than ever before.
Simplification of the intended processing plant in Teesside has allowed the company to estimate that the mine will now cost £1billion, commencing production by 2016.
Chris Fraser, managing director and CEO of Sirius Minerals, said: “This study shows that we can significantly reduce the capital costs of the mine and construct the project quicker than we previously anticipated - speeding up the job creation and the associated benefits of the project for the region.”
With the company currently scouring the globe for major investors, it is hoped that the reduction in costs should prove an attraction proposition.
The entire project, however, does still rely upon planning permission being granted for the mine head at Doves Nest Farm near Sneaton, with an application expected to be submitted before the end of the year.
The mining company has also been hosting public consultation events across the area that will be affected by the construction of the proposed pipeline.
Residents were given the opportunity to meet York Potash staff who will be instrumental in the project including ore transportation engineer Aaron Hasnip. He will oversee the design and operational aspects of the 45kilometre pipeline and said: “From the point of view of the wealth and the jobs the overall response has been very positive.”
He also explained that of all the available options, including transporting the raw material by land or sea, a pipeline was the preferable option. “Pipeline transportation is one of the fastest means of transporting any products from A to B,” he said. “The main issue is you never hear about pipelines until they go wrong.”
However, Dalton Peake, chair of the Campaign to Protect Rural England for the Coastal area, attended a consultation and said that a lot of people are “not convinced” by the proposals.