Plans to set up more test potash drills

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A PROJECT aimed at creating a potash mine between Scarborough and Whitby is growing its presence locally with further applications for test drilling in the area.

The York Potash scheme has submitted applications for another three boreholes in the area.

Work has already been carried out at four sites, where test drilling is being carried out to determine the extent of potash underground.

The results from the first test site near Robin Hood’s Bay unveiled unexpected results as the rig brought up one of the single thickest potash intersections ever reported.

Drilling is still underway at the other sites near Ugglebarnby, Sneatonthorpe, and a fourth site off the A171 south of the Flask Inn.

The test drilling phase is set to expand if planning permission is granted for the further three proposed sites.

The sites are all located within commercial forestry blocks. Two are located within the Langdale Forest and one is located within the Newton House Plantation.

Commenting on the latest applications, Chris Fraser, managing director of York Potash’s parent company Sirius Minerals, said: “We are pleased to be able to propose these temporary drilling sites in locations where local communities will not be affected.

“The work will help us fill in the gaps of knowledge of the underground conditions and we will continue to work as quickly as possible to complete this phase of work.“

York Potash hopes to finish test drilling by the end of the year and submit its first planning application for the mine next year.

It will be the first UK potash mine to be built in 40 years, which bosses say will create 1,000 direct mining jobs and 4,000 indirect jobs locally. The site of the mine head is yet to be determined and will be based around the results of wider test drilling.

It is estimated there is more than six billion tonnes lying under the Yorkshire Coast, spreading as far as Germany.