Geologist swaps gold for potash

Tristan Pottas
Tristan Pottas

A GEOLOGIST from the Yorkshire coast has returned from working in gold mines across the world to take up a role at Scarborough’s potash mine project.

Tristan Pottas, 28, who is originally from Whitby, has joined the York Potash scheme as project geologist, after gaining experience in gold and copper mines in Peru and Australia.

In his new role with Sirius Minerals, the company behind the project, Mr Pottas is heavily involved in the temporary drilling programme which is helping to test deposits of potash between Scarborough and Whitby.

As the geological cores are taken out of the ground at drilling sites at Hawsker and a second site near Ugglebarnby, Mr Pottas is working closely with a team at the British Geological Survey who are analysing the potash.

Mr Pottas said: “While I have really enjoyed my global travels and picked up valuable mining experience in some far-flung locations, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only work on one of the world’s most important Potash mines but also to return back home to Yorkshire.”

After gaining a degree in Physical Geography and Geology from the University of Liverpool, Mr Pottas worked at the Boulby potash mine in Cleveland before embarking on a global tour that saw him first become an exploration geologist at a deep gold mine in Western Australia, and then move to a copper and gold mine in the Peruvian Andes.

Chris Fraser, managing director of Sirius Minerals said: “Tristan has built up a wealth of mining experience in Australia and Latin America and as a highly-skilled geologist he is fantastic addition to our growing team.

“The project is in its fast-moving exploratory stage and we are committed to providing job opportunities for local people wherever possible and we are delighted to welcome Tristan back to the local area.”

A keen sportsman, returning home has also enabled Mr Pottas to resume his rugby playing career with Whitby Rugby Club’s first team.