New boss takes the helm at Boulby potash mine

Phil Baines, the new general manager of Boulby Mine.
Phil Baines, the new general manager of Boulby Mine.

A NEW general manager has taken over the helm of Boulby Mine with the aim of securing its future for many years to come.

Phil Baines joins Cleveland Potash Limited (CPL) with more than 30 years’ mining experience.

He will replace former general manager Graham Clarke, who left the company in October.

Mr Baines will lead the continued development of the mine near Staithes, which produces the fertiliser potash and polyhalite – a mineral consisting of calcium, magnesium and potassium sulphates – which can be crushed to produce a bulk fertiliser rich in sulphur.

CPL was recently awarded a £13.3 million grant from the government’s Regional Growth Fund to develop this unique asset, after studies found more than one billion tonnes of raw polyhalite were located beneath the mine’s potash deposit and around approximately 1.5 kilometres offshore.

Mr Baines, who has held a number of management positions at the Yorkshire coalfield over a 20-year period prior to joining CPL as its mining manager in 2004, said: “I am delighted to become CPL’s general manager, a position from which I will work to extend CPL’s leadership as a producer of potash while ramping up its new polyhalite mining activities.

“We have a committed and experienced team at CPL and I believe that we are entering an exciting period of growth.

“Mining is a challenging business.

“At Boulby, the second deepest mine in Europe, we mine at depths of up to 1,400 metres under the North Sea and many kilometres from shore.

“The production of potash as well as other products such as rock salt will remain an important part of our business.

“In parallel, the mining of polyhalite is an extraordinary opportunity that we believe will secure the future of Boulby and its workforce for many years to come, while hopefully creating new employment in the region.”

Mr Baines’ mining and business qualifications include a chartered engineering degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Derby University.