Unprofitable Boulby Mine in re-structure

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The company behind Boulby Mine is embarking on a radical re-organisation and a £38 million investment programme after conceding that the operation has not been profitable for over 18 months.

In a letter sent to the union in response to a dispute about pay rises and Christmas working, David Zvida, the managing director of Cleveland Potash which runs the mine, revealed the company’s financial situation following pay talks.

The company has since announced it will be transferring 49 posts from ICL UK to ICL Iberia Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cleveland Potash Limited.

In document seen by the Gazette, Mr Zvida said: “The 2015 pay talks commenced on the 5th May and were finally concluded by late June.

“From the very outset the company reminded the union that we have been unprofitable for the latter half of 2013 and for the whole duration on 2014.”

However, he has since insisted that there will be no job losses with the re-structure which will see the separation of mining and production activities from sales, marketing and distribution services.

The transfer is set to be effective from October and staff affected and trade unions have been informed.

When approached by the Gazette a spokesperson for Boulby Mine said it is a fact that ICL UK (Cleveland Potash) had not been profitable for a period and had now begun a significant programme aimed at improving the productivity and competiveness of the operation.

They added that the programme, which will continue for some considerable time, had begun to deliver results and the company was currently in a stronger position than that experienced in 2013/2014 and is committed to carrying forward the measures needed to ensure that it can build on the progress already achieved.

Mr Zvida added: “We are currently moving forward with a £38million investment programme to greatly expand our production of polysulphate—ICL UK is currently the only producer of this fertiliser in the world.”