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Potash Mine – Alternative Sites

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Discussions are taking place between the North York Moors National Park Authority (NYMNPA) and York Potash over alternative locations for a Potash mine.

The planning application for the proposed Potash mine at Dove’s Nest, Sneaton, was put on hold earlier this year after the Park Authority claimed there was a substantial amount of information missing from the application. York Potash agreed to resubmit their planning application and it is thought the application could be decided in late 2014.

The NYMNPA are unhappy with statements from York Potash that there are no viable alternative sites outside of the Park and are making the company do due diligence on alternative locations for a mine.

York Potash have always claimed that  there is no Plan B with regard to the mine location, but alternative mine locations have been on the NYMNPA agenda since the start of 2013.

Two potential sites have been identified and it is expected that substantial geological work will be needed to fully assess their viability, although York Potash have previously indicated the sites are not as economically viable as their favoured site, Dove’s Nest.

The first site identified is Cloughton Surrounds. The site lies directly to the west and southwest of Cloughton, near Scarborough. The area pictured lies inside York Potash’s area of mining interest, but outside of the National Park; therefore any development would not be subject to a Major Development Test, which may make planning approvals significantly easier.

The site is thought to be not as economically enticing as Dove’s Nest, due to geological faulting in the area. Mining would therefore fan out to the west and northwest of any potential mine site.

Cloughton Surrounds

The second site identified is Whitby Enclave. The site lies to the northwest of Ruswarp and northeast of Briggswath. Again, the area pictured lies inside York Potash’s area of mining interest, but outside of the National Park, therefore any development would not be subject to a Major Development Test, which may make planning approvals significantly easier.

The land is bordered by the A169 Pickering road and the A171 Teeside road, which means mine traffic will not traverse the streets of Whitby. Potentially, the site could be just across the road from the proposed Whitby Park and Ride site, currently being railroaded through by North Yorkshire County Council.

Again, the site is thought to be not as economically enticing as Dove’s Nest due to the close proximity to Cleveland Potash’s area of interest, which lies to the north. Mining would fan out to the south of any potential mine site.

Whitby_Enclave

There is the feeling that York Potash are being made to jump through hoops to get the mine at Dove’s Nest, but if either of the sites identified are found to be viable in the eyes of NYMNPA, then surely there is little chance that York Potash can build the mine in the National Park.

Sirius Minerals shares have taken big falls in the last few months due to the uncertainty of the York Potash Project. The shares are currently hovering around 7p. Keeping an eye on any land transactions in either of the two identified areas would be prudent for any current or potential investor. There are already reports that landowners to the north and northwest of Cloughton have sold their mineral rights to York Potash for considerable sums.

A number of elected members of local authorities have land-holdings in that locality.

In other Potash news, former SBC Councillor and chairman of the North York Moors National Park Authority Planning Committee, Tim Lawn, was cleared by North Yorkshire Police. NYP stated that while Mr Lawn technically broke the law, there was no criminal intent in his actions.

It seems ignorance of the law is a defence after all.

Other Potash Articles:

York Potash Now Set To Compete With Boulby

More NYMNPA / York Potash Conflicted Interests?

From Scarborough Town Hall With Anger

Tim Lawn Resigns from Council

From York Potash, With Love

£2.5million Conflict of Interests at National Park

Private_Eye

Posted by on December 4, 2013. Filed under Featured,News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

6 Responses to Potash Mine – Alternative Sites


  1. Nick Henderson Reply

    December 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Great work Tim…

    I’m not even surprised by these revelations!

    I’ve just been looking at which Councillors live around there – usual suspects… No surprises either.

  2. Stakesby Legs Reply

    December 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    The Sirius crowd obviously can’t decide whether this makes things better – or worse!

  3. Jon Owen Reply

    December 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Evening Mooseys

    This member of the “Sirius crowd” – ie a share holder – has been very aware from the start of the York Potash planning proposal that the NPA’s has an automatic predisposition to refuse and will only recommend mining at Dove’s Nest (“Daves”! Come on Tim) if it can be shown to pass the MDT. Particularly WRT paragraph 116 of the National Planning Policy Framework re alternative sites:

    “the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated
    area, or meeting the need for it in some other way”

    For Chris France and his appointed consultants AMEC, this is their ‘line in the sand’ as the other issues causing the present impasse are the domain of the statutory authorities, EA ,NE and NYCC for transport.

    Much evidence has already been presented to the Park on the 2 remaining alternatives (the others the Parkies came up with have now been rejected by the Parkies them selves) showing from a geological perspective that a mine head would not only be un-economic but would also be unsafe. It has also been pointed out by the co that no investment would be forthcoming for any site other than the present option, so yes, there is no ‘plan B’.

    But what I would consider most objectionable with either of these proposed alternatives would be the far larger effect on local populations due to them being close to the development – more than 2000 within 1km in both cases, compared to under 30 people (and possibly one Golden Plover – if it hasn’t been shot by the local squire) for Dove’s Nest.

    With NYCC now being brought in to the PA, I would expect they will be painfully aware of this factor, when they determine on a now equal basis as the NPA, the potential impact on their constituents of the NPA’s proposed alternative sites.

    Oh, and Tim I liked this: “There are already reports that landowners to the north and northwest of Cloughton have sold their mineral rights to York Potash for considerable sums.” Really? Thing is YP have never bought any mineral rights from anyone, they have formed agreements with rights holders, ask YCMA.

    Jon.

  4. Tim Thorne Reply

    December 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

    “It has also been pointed out by the co that no investment would be forthcoming for any site other than the present option, so yes, there is no ‘plan B’.”

    Yet York Potash are currently being made to do due diligence on two sites. The arguments we’ve seen so far state that the sites are less economically valuable than Dove’s Nest with not a lot of data to substantiate that hypothesis. If it can be ascertained that the two sites are economically viable, but less so than Dove’s Nest, then it all gets very interesting and York Potash will be back to square one.

  5. J.G.Harston Reply

    December 13, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Didn’t I suggest Whitby Enclave (never heard it called that before) about a year ago as a site not inside the National Park, and not cut off from the Teeside processing facilities by the Esk Valley.

    I suggested it more in jest as a comment on the apparent lack of an actual search for a suitable non-NYMP site, but it is a much better site on all points than Dove’s Nest.

  6. Dave Reply

    December 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    When I first heard about this mine project and looked at it using all the information made available, studying comments made about the project and using my own powers of observation and considering all these facts I concluded that the whole project was unachievable and a mine would never be put into operation. What if there was a plan B? What if it has been completed or almost completed?


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