York Potash – Scarborough And Whitby Potash Mining

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York Potash – Scarborough And Whitby Potash Mining

Further Reading On North Yorkshire Moors Potash

More From Nigel

THE WIZARD OF “IF” In My View By Nigel Ward

York Potash Drilling Rig Just Outside Whitby

York Potash Drilling Rig Just Outside Whitby

The recurrent topic of conversation over the last couple of weeks has been Sirius Minerals Plc and their much publicised venture to extract massive quantities of polyhalite (the word means ‘many salts’, in this case, potash) from beneath the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

I had other plans for this week’s article, but I find I am now in receipt of requests to throw in my two-penn’orth on this fiercely contended issue.

In my view, it is vital that this issue is vigorously debated, because constructive debate has the power to refine every argument, sifting the true from the false, and the realities from the dreams and promises.

Real Whitby coverage of developments thus far has attracted a welter of comments from contributors with deeply entrenched (and fiercely opposing) views, both in favour of the Sirius proposals (I will refer to them collectively, for convenience, as the ‘Pro-Sirians’), and against (whom I will refer to, also for convenience, as the ‘Eco-Defenders’). Please feel free to replace these convenient appellations with others of your own choosing.

The Pro-Sirian argument may be briefly summarised thus:

·    the polyhalite extraction will create wealth in sufficient volume (and over a sufficiently protracted time-scale) to massively re-invigorate the local economy

·    the concomitant job-creation will extend a lifeline to the youth of the region

·    the conservation of the National Park, for posterity, will be rigorously safeguarded

·    there is no ‘down side’; the sceptics need have no cause for alarm

The Eco-Defenders’ concerns, though less stridently stated, are based on a more fundamental (and less materialistic) view, which may be briefly summarised thus:

·    the ecological integrity of the National Park is enshrined in law for very good reason

·    such a large-scale industrial development may prove to be ‘the thin end of the wedge’

·    no independent ecological or traffic impact studies have as yet been published

·    there is no clear avenue of redress, should the project in any sense fail

Of course, the issues run far deeper than this; I merely outline the ‘starting’ positions, which seem to be that the Eco-Defenders are short on facts but asking pertinent questions – for which, as yet, the Pro-Sirians have been able to provide only estimates, aspirations and promises but few hard facts.

Personally, I am a long way from taking a position on this issue. I would, of course, welcome the prospect of long-term, well-remunerated, career-oriented employment – especially for the upcoming generation – as well as the accompanying return to a more balanced local economy, less weighted toward low-paid seasonal tourism-based jobs. That would be wonderful. Bring it on!

On the other hand, the enlightened desire to preserve the natural landscape and precious habitats of the National Park serves the interest of the entire nation, now and in perpetuity. Bring it on!

For me, the jury is still out. Or, rather, much of the evidence is still to be presented. So, at best, Sirius has only my conditional support. It has to be said, though, that whilst the Eco-Defenders have, in the absence of reliable information, drawn some unsubstantiated conclusions, the shrill, repetitive and defensive/aggressive postings of some of the Pro-Sirians have been really quite offensive (especially coming from one-issue posters who have hitherto made no contribution to Real Whitby), thereby bringing a measure of disgrace to themselves as well as risking discrediting what may well be a very fine and responsible company.

To conclude, “IF” seems to be at the heart of the matter.

  • ·    IF – convincing independent core-samples were to hand,
  • ·    IF – the long-term sustainability of the seam(s) were independently confirmed,
  • ·    IF – an independent ecological-impact assessment were to prove favourable,
  • ·    IF – an independent traffic-impact assessment were to prove favourable,
  • ·    IF – a binding agreement on the number of local jobs were to be reached,
  • ·    IF – adequate indemnification to cover the rehabilitation of the landscape in the event of insolvency were to be procured,

THEN, and only then, many would consider the case to have been made. Me too.

However, information from Burke County, North Dakota, where a once-trumpeted ‘strike’ by Sirius-subsidiary Dakota Salts LLC has now been reported as having been abandoned (allegedly leaving its 21,492 gross mineral acres site derelict for over a year), has been left un-addressed by the gung-ho Pro-Sirian commentators on a previous article here on Real Whitby. That is rather disturbing.

But beyond the war of words between the Pro-Sirians and the Eco-Defenders, one should be mindful of the colourful history of prospecting/mining stock-flotations in general – a ‘hype’ industry, and a cemetery for broken dreams. So here is a brief check-list, culled from the web, of some of the ‘hallmark’ warning signs that a stock ‘bubble’ may be being super-inflated, and someone is about to get rich – though that someone may not necessarily be you!

  • ·    IF – estimates of the size and/or quality of the deposits are progressively revised upwards
  • ·    IF – estimates of the sustainability of the deposits are progressively revised upwards
  • ·    IF – estimates of national and local government support are progressively revised upwards
  • ·    IF – test-rigs are situated in highly visible or brightly illuminated locations
  • ·    IF – test-rig sites are rapidly re-landscaped following test-drilling
  • ·    IF – the company is a wholly-owned domestic subsidiary of a larger international enterprise
  • ·    IF – the leading executives of the parent company are domiciled in a foreign country
    ·    IF – mining rights are wholly or partially purchased with stock (rather than cash)
    ·    IF – domestic high-profile directors are recruited during the build-up period
    ·    IF – the parent company has in the past been subject to sanction by authorities

IF any or all of these indicants apply, THEN it might be wisest to suspend judgement and wait until ALL of the evidence has been presented. For the moment, my advice would be to do your own research and invest only if you can afford to lose the whole of your intended stake. Investment is gambling.

Meanwhile, a healthy debate, without personal rancour, can only enhance the knowledge-base.

In my view, everyone has the right to hold an opinion, and the right to freely express it. Disagree, by all means, but do so politely, please – with respect and with dignity. Thank you.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

(The opening stanza of “IF” by Rudyard Kipling – 1895)

http://www.scarborougheveningnews.co.uk/news/business/more-finds-of-potash-at-third-site-1-4388428
http://markets.ft.com/Research/Markets/Tearsheets/Summary?s=SXX:LSE

 

Further Reading On North Yorkshire Moors Potash

More From Nigel

By |2013-02-05T13:41:06+00:00April 4th, 2012|Categories: Featured, News, Nigel Ward - In My View|Tags: , , , |74 Comments

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Website Admin for the Real Whitby Website. All authors of the Real Whitby Website have access to publish on the website. Individual authors will usually sign off their articles with their own names.

74 Comments

  1. Real Whitby March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Another nice one.

    My Favourite Quote so far is from Dave Hessleton. Sums up my perspective far better than I could.

    In answer to Graham, like everywhere in the British Isles, the North York Moors have been touched by man and because of man they are unrecognisable as compared to say 4000 years ago when the moors were covered in trees; During the great industrial era of the 19th century, tourism was an insignificant industry compared to say jet or shipping, but of course times change, attitudes change and we move on.
    Today, the most important industry in Whitby is tourism, its also the most important industry within the National Park alongside agriculture. The proposed potash mine according to Sirius COULD employ as many as 1000 people, therefore it cannot either replace tourism as our most important industry, nor can it employ anywhere near as many people or support as many small businesses; What the proposed mine could do, is harm or damage our most important industry, which incidentaly is capable of sustaining the local economy indefinately, something that a potash mine cannot do.

    • Stakesby Legs March 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      what happened to the gobby lot? you banned em, or what?

      • admin March 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm - Reply

        If you mean the pro syrians. No I haven’t banned them. I think they will likely sit this one out as they took some stick on the other topic.

  2. Jane Swales March 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    A relative in Robin Hood’s Bay reports being offered £500 a year for mining rights. Not sure whether that is in cash or in stock [18.5p at close of trading]. I will report back when I have seen the small print.

    • admin March 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      Not sure I like this. The people who are most likely to object are the people whose views and livelihoods will be effected. So you pay them £500 a year to keep them all quiet. As I said on the last article. Money talks.

  3. my tuppenceworth March 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Perhaps, as part of the study, it might be examined, where the spoils (debris removed from the proposed shaft) will go, fresh water in huge quantity obtained, waste water disposed (all mines have waste water in the form of inflows) , how it will be powered -will it need a new power supply ? the Whitby line is inadequate for a large project like this, and the proposed product in suspension transported to Teesside for process – 4 x 2 foot pipes as proposed will leave a not insubstantial footprint.

  4. Elizabeth Truesdale March 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    This issue makes me think of John McEnroe: “You cannot be Sirius!” about allowing the ruination of the Moors for private gain. It would be a tragedy for all but the few who profit.

  5. Dave Heselton March 30, 2012 at 8:40 am - Reply

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/farndale-daffodil-walk

    Last weekend I took my mother to Farndale, and for such a tiny, but very beautiful corner of the North York Moors it was busy, lots and lots of people enjoying the unspoilt natural beauty of this dale. The Feversham Arms was packed with drinkers and eaters, the cafe down by the stream was packed too, add the handful of farms that do B&B and you have several sustainable little businesses and quite a few people in employment. A short distance up Blakey Bank there is The Lion Inn, and last Sunday the place was heaving, no doubt the kitchens and bars were at full belt turning out food, tea, coffee and beer. All of these businesses may be fairly small, but add up all the dales, all the villages, all the small businesses and thats a lot of economic activity. And the natural resource they all rely on is quite simply the natural surroundings, you dont have to dig it up, you dont need to mine it or quarry it, its just there, and it wont run out or get used up.
    Our greatest asset and our number 1 resource in this area is our natural surroundings, and just because its free, it is no less precious than any mineral to be found in the ground, the difference is that if we look after it – it wont run out.

  6. Graham Presley March 30, 2012 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Pro Sirian? Yes that is not a bad handle, dont mind that. Have I gone away, absolutely not. Did I mind getting stick for questioning the validity of the claims in the first article? No, Vanda clearly has local loyalties from those who are prepared to overlook gross distortions of known facts. I find this article much more balanced, credible and thought provoking. Of course there are still many IFS, this is a project at this stage, not a reality yet. The subjects thrown up for debate are much more likely to produce a healthy and vital examination of all aspects. Nigel, I think the lack of response by Sirians on the Dakota issue is that as far as I can see it had never been seen before, but would think it is best addressed to the company for comment. Let us not forget that just because it is in the press is not proof of accuracy. However, in this country, and in particular in such a sensitive area, there are many regulations which can be brought in to force by planners to ensure that due and proper respect is paid to the environment.
    Your summary is fair, in empoyment terms it is real, well paid jobs for future generations versus low paid, highly seasonal and, to some extent, menial jobs in the service sector.
    A question for DaveH. Is the scenery of which you are rightly proud and protective untouched by the hand of man over the years?

    • admin March 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      A question for DaveH. Is the scenery of which you are rightly proud and protective untouched by the hand of man over the years?

      Yes it has, but it wasnt a national park in them days. I do agree with the point you are getting at, and indeed much of our heritage now, revolves around mining of things such as Jet, Iron Stone And Alum in the distanr past. However these were not industrialised operations that could have a detrimental effect on the environment and landscape of the area like the proposed mine will. I still believe that we have National Park status for a reason and that is for protection of the area.

  7. Nigel Ward March 30, 2012 at 10:59 am - Reply

    To ensure the greatest possible openness and transparency around this debate, I would like to share the following information, just received from Jon Stokoe (editor of the Whitby Gazette) to the effect that he has “felt the need to add a comment to Rose Rylands’ letter on our web-site this morning”:

    http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/letters/in-pursuit-of-profit-1-4340906

    The following article in today’s Gazette is also of interest:

    http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/mineral-group-is-set-up-to-fight-for-local-landowners-1-4398772

    @Graham Presley. Thx.

  8. Nick March 30, 2012 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Graham: You said that there are many regulations that can be brought into force by planners…
    I presume you haven’t forgotten that the planners in Scarborough didn’t “know” that the Pavillion Hotel was a listed building when the wrecking ball ‘accidentally’ went through it.
    That Knipe Point, Osgodby was built on a cliff known to be eroding since the early part of the 20th Century, and the ‘suggestion’ points to a planning officer(s) who ‘looked the other way’ and ignored this fact. Leaving people without homes, or with property worth nothing.
    Then there’s the numerous ‘projects’ in and around Scarborough town that required buildings to suffer fires that mysteriously start in the roof spaces in order for that building to be brought down and something else put in it’s place (Opera House, Prince of Wales Flats, South Bay Pool, etc.). Isn’t it amazing how these things just ‘happen’?

  9. Adam March 30, 2012 at 11:47 am - Reply

    “…..information from Burke County, North Dakota, where a once-trumpeted ‘strike’ by Sirius-subsidiary Dakota Salts LLC has now been reported as having been abandoned (allegedly leaving its 21,492 gross mineral acres site derelict for over a year), has been left un-addressed by the gung-ho Pro-Sirian commentators on a previous article here on Real Whitby. That is rather disturbing.”

    What no-ones knows is the veracity of the claims by one person.

    I would say that it is not for the “pro-Serius Lobby’ to address. This is an issue for the company itself to address.

    The company have said they intend to develop this project once the funds are available after the development of the better located (closer to markets) project in the UK.

  10. markey March 30, 2012 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Hmm, I still think Sirius is a AIM listed mining scam.

    I’ve still not seen a plan on !how! they’ll get the potash from the mine head to where it can be processed and shipped.

    I don’t doubt there are potash deposits under the moors.

    I don’t doubt they’ll be able to extract them in a unobtrusive way – Boulby’s hardly a dark statanic mill.

    I do doubt they’ll be able to shift the stuff in a economical way – potash is a heavy, low-value mineral.

    I do doubt there claims on jobs creation – my guess the mine will pretty capital intensive and require a few (10s of) high skilled engineers. As far as employing the vast number of ‘easter leavers from town’ – forget it.

    As far as the sirius boosters – mainly a collection of self-deluding posters from the III website – claim about world food growth/fertilser ther are bigger, cheaper to extract potash deposits that are nearer to China.

  11. markey/spy March 30, 2012 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Congratulations on the allowing the use of new-lines. Maybe you should have a word with the Scarborough Evening News webmaster.

  12. Dave Heselton March 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    In answer to Graham, like everywhere in the British Isles, the North York Moors have been touched by man and because of man they are unrecognisable as compared to say 4000 years ago when the moors were covered in trees; During the great industrial era of the 19th century, tourism was an insignificant industry compared to say jet or shipping, but of course times change, attitudes change and we move on.
    Today, the most important industry in Whitby is tourism, its also the most important industry within the National Park alongside agriculture. The proposed potash mine according to Sirius COULD employ as many as 1000 people, therefore it cannot either replace tourism as our most important industry, nor can it employ anywhere near as many people or support as many small businesses; What the proposed mine could do, is harm or damage our most important industry, which incidentaly is capable of sustaining the local economy indefinately, something that a potash mine cannot do.

  13. markh March 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    You’re making the assumption that tourism in Whitby is viable business. Just because there’s a lot of tourism in Whitby it does not mean it’s profitable. The boost Whitby has had in the last 15 years is more to do with increased public sector spending – look at the day trips from Middlesbrough. As the public sector spend is reduced I think you’ll find the money disappears.

  14. admin March 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Interesting point Mark. We shall see over the next few years. Certainly aint cheap for the day trippers anymore as petrols gone through the roof.

  15. Jane Swales March 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    As the comments roll in, is it too obvious to comment that the anti-lobbyists look to be unanimously pro the public interest (present and future) but the pro-lobbyists seem to be driven mostly by self interest? The few versus the many? Same old story?

  16. S J Chapman March 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Since this is a balanced and mostly accurate article without any obvious attempt to mislead or to claim opinion/rumour as fact, I doubt that the “Pro-Sirians” will be crying “Foul!” this time.

    That said, I would be interested to know who claimed “there is no ‘down side’” because however beneficial the mine may be, it will certainly have a down side – and the ultimate debate will be whether that down side has been mitigated sufficiently to make it a price worth paying for the benefits.

    @admin: you are presenting this alleged payment of £500pa as fact whereas it is a rumour only at this stage. Be assured that landowners whose minerals are extracted will receive a lot more than this in royalty payments if they own a sizeable plot.

    @my tuppenceworth: the proposed method of transportation won’t leave a “substantial footprint” as the polyhalite will be moved via underground pipes to the processing plant/port. There would certainly be a temporary footprint for a few months while the pipes are laid but thereafter they will be invisible.
    http://infrastructure.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/EN070002/1.%20Pre-Submission/EIA/Screening/Screening%20Request/111221_EN070002_Potash%20Screening%20Request_Letter.pdf
    http://infrastructure.independent.gov.uk/projects/yorkshire-and-the-humber/yorkshire-potash-pipeline/

    @Nigel Ward: it would be worth reading the North Dakota article linked at the top of this page. Sirius have apparently been studying that drill site and considering their options before the restoration which is scheduled for this spring.

    • Nigel Ward March 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      @ S J Chapman: Just to say that the link at the bottom of the article was provided by a friend in N Dakota. The local neswpapers there have apparently covered the Sirius prospecting in some detail. I can only recommend that you pursue your own research.

      Your remark addressed to Admin:

      “Be assured that landowners whose minerals are extracted will receive a lot more than this in royalty payments if they own a sizeable plot.”

      is unhelpful, insofar as it presents not answers, but yet more IFs – IF they own a sizeable plot (which you concede), and IF any extraction ever actually takes place, which remains to be seen.

      IF you know the truth of that, which you seem to suggest, please provide us all with £££/acres per annum. That would be helpful. Thank you.

  17. Graham Presley March 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Jane. I would prefer not to be pigeon-holed as anything. This article is a balanced one, it sets out both sides of the argument in clear terms, and lets the reader make their own judgement. Much the best way I am sure you will agree. Your view is cynical, of the project, and of the people who comment favourably, not helpful to debate but that is your stance.
    Do we need potash? Without doubt, potash is one of the three essential nutrients which make plants grow in to the food we all eat. It occurs naturally in the soil, but, by taking the crops for food, we deplete the levels. Without replacement, crops would become gradually less and less productive. Is potash heavy and low value? No, the price for potash has continued to rise, with forecasts of $1500 per tonne by 2020, a high value commodity. Can the potash be extracted undergound and pumped away undergound to be processed elsewhere? Yes, proven technology.

    DaveH. A trip around a couple of pubs in a scenic area during the best March weather on record is hardly conclusive proof that the tourism industry is the complete answer to the employment needs of the area. I would love to know from someone in that industry how they are finding things, but I imagine that they, like most small businesses in the UK, are finding it a backs to the wall struggle for survival. As a consequence, they will never be able to pay more than bare minimums, and it is well proven that such employment can not meet the needs of main bread winners long term. Therefore, as the article states, IF the project can be run with appropriate safeguards for the local environment and due and proper respect for the scenery created by man but spectacularly recovered by nature, then it is in my view beneficial for the people of the area that this wealth is created.

  18. Dave Heselton March 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    I am always the first to admit that the tourist industry has its downside and its disadvantages, but on the whole, and compared to the majority of industrial areas, Whitby is much better off and has come off almost unscaithed from the recent recession. The number of boarded up shops, pubs and businesses has been virtualy none existent unlike some towns not too far away which have relied on just one or two large employers. There are currently many people and businesses investing in Whitby, in pubs, hotels, supermarkets, shops and in building houses, all believe that its worth investing here; The tourism industry supports hundreds of small businesses, and although its quieter in winter, the trade is all year round. In winter you can see guest houses, cafes, shops and pubs been decorated, altered, improved or modernised ready for the busy period, local roofers, painters, joiners, scaffolders, plumbers and odd job men. Amongst the advantages of the tourist trade is the fact that if one shop or one hotel closes down, the tourist trade carries on, and someone else takes over that shop or hotel, sadly the same cannot be said for areas that rely on just one or two large employers – look at Redcar.

    Another advantage with the tourist trade is that the business is there to grab, you just need an idea and quite often very little money to get cracking. And because the tourist trade consists mostly of lots of small businesses, most of the wealth generated stays in the area – unlike big companies with shareholders.

    Finaly, long gone are the days where Whitby relied solely on day trippers from Teesside and Leeds ( though thankfuly they do still come and spend their money here ), visitors to this area come from all over the country and indeed a growing number are foreign visitors.

  19. peter anderson March 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    just a question. has anybody looked into the real owners of SIRIUS and where it originates from.? it makes interesting reading.take a look folks.

    • Miilicent April 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      China

  20. Nick March 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/nd-potash-deposits-not-as-promising-as-thought/article_f24a5f42-5f3e-11e1-b8c7-001871e3ce6c.html

    It took the Dakota Salts LLC two years to announce that the place they’d ‘looked’ at was no good. It sounds to me like the site referenced has been neglected for at least a year…. I’ve got friends that way, so I’ve sent a message to ask. I’ll report back when I find out for sure.

  21. Jon Owen March 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Peter

    From the Sirius website. The rest are the usual type of share holders I would have thought. anyone who owns more than 3% has to notify, not very upto date I’m afraid:-

    Notified beneficial owners (other than Directors and related parties):

    Capital Research and Management Company
    75,739,645
    7.3%*

    * Percentage of shares notified on 10 March 2011.

    Directors’ beneficial interests:

    Chris Fraser
    114,000,750
    8.5%

    Chris Catlow
    100,000,000
    7.5%

    Russell Scrimshaw
    32,388,888
    2.4%

    Peter Woods
    4,199,916
    0.3%

    Andrew Lindsay
    582,352
    0.0%

    Derek Stonley
    366,665
    0.0%

    Total

    251538571
    18.8% *

    http://siriusminerals.com/significant-shareholders

    Jon.

  22. S J Chapman March 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    @Nigel Ward: Fees to mineral rights holders (who may not necessarily be the same people who own the land) will vary according to the state of play. Without any planning permission or funding for a mine, the initial agreement would be similar to an option, ie a fee which gives the mining company the exclusive right to negotiate future royalty agreements with the owner. The eventual royalty deal will only be signed if the minerals are going to be extracted — and it will vary according to the quality, thickness and uniformity of the resource, the cost of transporting, processing and marketing it and the prevailing market price of the mineral.

    Muriate of Potash, for example, has a current market price of $470 per tonne but various middle men take a cut and the cost of extraction and processing may be $200 per tonne. If the stuff beneath your land is high quality, 20 metres thick and feasible to mine, you can do the sums… but they will almost certainly be different if you run the calculations next year or in 2014.

    I am aware of royalty agreements in North America where the mineral rights owner receives 2.5% of the net value of the potash extracted from his land — which is somewhere south of the $470 per tonne selling price to the end user. Whatever percentage may eventually be agreed here, it could mean a great deal of money for those landowners “lucky” enough to benefit. I’ve got no idea where the aforementioned £500pa figure comes from but it sounds to me much more likely to be an initial option agreement rather than a premature royalty deal.

    As for North Dakota, the link at the top of the page, to which I referred, is the same as the link beneath your story. It is in that newspaper article that the spring restoration date is confirmed. If you have any doubts about Sirius’s desire to tidy up after drilling, I suggest you take a tour of the current test drilling sites in this area a few months after the drilling rigs have departed. From all that I have seen to date, the company is proceeding as diligently and as responsibly as anyone could wish for — notwithstanding Vanda Inman’s outrageous insinuation elsehwere on this site that they had polluted Weaponess Valley Car Park!

  23. peter anderson March 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    jon, thank you for your information.but please look at the ULTIMATE OWERNSHIP of the company and its origin.i have it on good authority that the the control of the company is totally controlled by the REAL OWNERS of a fence company.

  24. my tuppenceworth March 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    , – @my tuppenceworth: the proposed method of transportation won’t leave a “substantial footprint” as the polyhalite will be moved via underground pipes to the processing plant/port. There would certainly be a temporary footprint for a few months while the pipes are laid but thereafter they will be invisible. –

    @S J Chapman – in response, and being completely logical, I’m sorry but I have to disagree, the width, depth and area required to place around 30 miles of pipes measuring 2 foot each , will be similar to that of a single carriage roadway, it will require pumping stations, as the sulphate of potash is by nature going to want to come out of solution. It is not a liquid, or even a gas, therefore will require constant maintenance, The foot print I refer to is not only the damage to the delicate moorland ecosystem, but also to remind people of the sheer scale of the project.

    I still have to be answered as to how it will be powered, is that also going to undergound?….or more to the point, what changes will be required to the present power grid to supply the proposed mine, never mind its water requirements.

    By the way, I am actually a supporter of the mine, but remain concerned , that whilst a lot of talk has been about the low impact minehead design, everyone is broadbrushing how it will be serviced.

    • S J Chapman March 31, 2012 at 10:00 am - Reply

      @my tuppenceworth: I can only urge you to read the pre-planning submission by the pipeline consultants which I linked to in my earlier post. There will be no pumping stations along the route of the pipe. Nor will the polyhalite be in solution – it will be in the form of a slurry, ie suspended in brine.

      But there is no escaping the fact that the construction of an underground pipe system of this scale will be disruptive. The consultants foresee a 9m-wide trench for the four pipelines – plus wider temporary access routes for plant and temporary topsoil storage. They say that each stretch of pipeline construction would take 2-3 months to complete and that there would be associated temporary noise, dust and loss of amenity. There would also be some inevitable disturbance of flora and wildlife but the habitat would be quickly returned to its natural state without any lasting environmental damage.

      We don’t yet know the length or route of the proposed pipeline but wherever it goes, it will obviously be disruptive whatever lengths the company goes to mitigate the disruption. The key question is whether this temporary disruption is deemed to be a price worth paying for the long-term social and economic benefits that the mine would bring.

      From my reading of the local papers, it seems that the majority of people locally are in favour of the proposed mine — but they don’t yet know where it would be or what it would look like. Sirius is due to publish some key information within the next month and that will obviously focus people’s views. It would also be a better time to debate the pros and cons of the project.

  25. Vincent Vega March 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    “jon, thank you for your information.but please look at the ULTIMATE OWERNSHIP of the company and its origin.i have it on good authority that the the control of the company is totally controlled by the REAL OWNERS of a fence company.”

    I have been busy over the last couple of days and I read this article with great interest. I will comment with some ‘facts’ when I can.

    I would like to thank Nigel for putting a for and against article forward rather than the one-sided previous ditty.

    So, let’s try this again. (probably the sixth time that I have asked the newly termed “Eco-Defenders” to provide factual evidence)

    Can you first of all define “Fence Company”, and can you tell me who this fence Company is?

    I’m sure that somebody some day will actually back up such statements.

  26. admin March 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Seems like the one sided previous ditty touched a few raw nerves.

    So Many Reasons Why A Potash Mine Would Be A Blot On Our Landscape – See Here

  27. peter anderson March 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    sirius is just one name that is a middle east company. it can be found out on the web.please all take time to look at it.(very closely)

  28. Vincent Vega March 30, 2012 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    It never touched a nerve with me in the slightest. I try and deal in facts, afterall that is what debate should be all about. Not hearsay and frankly, outlandish statements which I think is being allowed here. That can only dilute the validity of the debate.

    If somebody can answer my many questions for evidence of such statements then I would be more than appreciative and on that basis, real debate can finally begin on this website.

    Afterall, that must be your goal rather than such a disappointing remark as you have just made.

  29. Vincent Vega March 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Peter, done that.

    It’s an AIM listed (London) Company and nothing to do with Middle East ownership.

    Look at the share ownership.

  30. peter anderson March 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    hi vincent,i can assure you that the company that holds all the clout (be it kept quite)for reasons best known to them is controlled in the middle east.(i do know the country)but best i keep qt for the time being.

  31. Beam Me Up Scotty, Morks Calling Orsen. March 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Bloody hell, has Nigel Ward been abducted by Simon Parks Mother and replaced by an alien. What happened to the controversial one who likes to poke sticks through hornets nests. Please bring back the real Nigel this instant.

    • Nigel Ward March 31, 2012 at 8:13 am - Reply

      @ admin: Surely this posting is ‘off topic’ – as well as being decidedly ‘personal’, and should therefore be deleted?

      I think you should let it stand, though, because it’s raising a few much-needed laughs!

    • al roberts March 31, 2012 at 8:43 am - Reply

      What happened to the controversial one who likes to poke sticks through hornets nests?

      The clue is in Nigels article where he states, “Personally, I am a long way from taking a position on this issue.” and “For me, the jury is still out. Or, rather, much of the evidence is still to be presented.”

      Clearly there are a lot of opinions of both sides of this issue that need to be debated before any decisions can be taken.

    • al roberts March 31, 2012 at 8:47 am - Reply

      What happened to the controversial one who likes to poke sticks through hornets nests?

      The clue is in Nigels article where he states, “Personally, I am a long way from taking a position on this issue.” and “For me, the jury is still out. Or, rather, much of the evidence is still to be presented.”

      Clearly there are a lot of opinions from both sides of this issue that need to be debated before any decisions can be taken.

  32. S J Chapman March 30, 2012 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    peter anderson wrote: “i can assure you that the company that holds all the clout (be it kept quite)for reasons best known to them is controlled in the middle east.(i do know the country)but best i keep qt for the time being.”
    ======================
    I’m not sure which is more disturbing — the fact that you post blatant disinformation or that four people give you the thumbs-up, obviously without having bothered to check out the facts for themselves.

    Jon Owen has even posted the *facts* for all to see but got six thumbs down for his efforts. Truly amazing.

    Surely the Eco-Defenders should be renamed the Truth-Benders?

    I can only assure you that you’re not helping your cause by posting utter rubbish.

    • Jane Swales March 31, 2012 at 7:44 am - Reply

      @SJC

      The point you seem to be missing is that you and your fellow P-Ss are making yourselves unpopular by the singling out of E-Ds for personal criticism. I expect that explains the ratings. And leaving things out is “truth bending”, too. The P-Ss never owned up about the Dakota stuff, presumably because it does not show up easily on Google. The P-Ss come across as having a personal agenda contrary to local interests.

      • S J Chapman March 31, 2012 at 9:17 am - Reply

        @Jane Swales

        I’m not trying to win a popularity contest. I like good, honest debate from all sides and if I see someone spouting what I know to be disinformation then I will put them right — even if you choose to mis-label my corrections as “personal”. I hope you would agree that it’s impossible to have a useful debate if people are allowed to spread disinformation.

        Mr Anderson must be some kind of saboteur to post four times about his fabrication that Sirius Minerals are owned or sponsored by some shadowy Middle East outfit. The fact that he omitted any morsel of evidence for his rumour-mongering should have raised suspicions but instead he gets over 30 thumbs-up!

        Would you, or anyone, care to explain why such misleading information earns your approval? Or is it simply a case of ticking up every single anti-Sirius message, however ludicrous?

        Nigel Ward’s balanced article deserves a more adult, more responsible response, in my view.

  33. Vincent Vega March 31, 2012 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Jane, it appears that the main brunt of the argument put forward by the E-Ds lately is that the P-Ss are singling people out for personal criticism. Lets’s not forget that the E-Ds have labelled the S-Ds as “tyrants”, “bullies” and “gobby.” This is getting in the way of real debate here.

    It is a real shame that open discussion on the for’s and against’s cannot be based on verifiable facts.

    There are many questions still to be answered here and over time the plans will undoubtedly be unveiled.

    I could counter the Dakota example with Vanda’s claim of chemical leaks caused by Sirius, but that has been proven as unfounded and old ground, so let’s move on.

    It is comments like those from Peter Anderson that are unhelpful to debate. If people post statements on here then they should be prepared to back it up.

  34. Vincent Vega March 31, 2012 at 9:08 am - Reply

    @ Nigel Ward. Thank you for putting a balanced view forward in your recent article.

    As a P-S, it was good to hear both sides of the argument. It would appear that a number of E-Ds requested your opinion on this proposed project and some feel let down by your balanced view.

    I have now read it a few times and one of your statements stands out…

    “In my view, it is vital that this issue is vigorously debated, because constructive debate has the power to refine every argument, sifting the true from the false, and the realities from the dreams and promises.”

    I would like to comment on a couple of your statements, which I would hope will generate more debate.

    You mention that no independant ecological or traffic impact studies have as yet been published. This surely is not the responsibility of Sirius and as such will undoubtedly be carried out at some stage by a body independent of the project.

    At this stage, it is virtually impossible to complete either of the above studies as Sirius have not yet chosen the location for the minehead. They are still in the drilling stage and this is designed to not only prove the quantity, quality and viability of the resource, but will also define the minehead location.

    So far the results for 2 drills have been published with the assays for the 3rd drill to be announced in the coming weeks. It would appear that the first phase of drilling includes provision of 6 drilling sites.

    Sirius have an exploration target of 3 – 6 billion tons of Polyhalite. These first two drills did 2 things.

    Firstly, they blew the original targets out of the water both in terms of quality and seam thickness.

    Secondly, they discovered an upper shelf of Polyhalite. This has meant that the Scoping Study (SS) which was due this month has had to be revised into a more comprehensive Detailed Scoping Study.(DSS) Sirius believe that this DSS will highlight a more economical and sustainable means of extraction due to 1 & 2 above. This study is now due to be released by the end of April along with a maiden jorc resource statement. There is no doubt that even after the first 2 drills, the resource already represents a World Class find. No other place in the World has been proven to contain seams of such thickness and quality.

    It is only when these reports are published that many of the E-Ds questions can begin to be answered and believe me, the P-Ss are as keen to see these studies as the E-Ds are.

    I am under no illusion that Sirius have to demonstrate that they can satisfy all of the requirements needed in order to gain acceptance for a minehead in the NYNP and so far, they appear to be striving towards that goal.

    Thank you once again for your views.

    • Nigel Ward March 31, 2012 at 10:45 am - Reply

      @ Vincent Vega: I believe my closing remarks are worthy of repetition:

      “Meanwhile, a healthy debate, without personal rancour, can only enhance the knowledge-base.

      In my view, everyone has the right to hold an opinion, and the right to freely express it. Disagree, by all means, but do so politely, please – with respect and with dignity. Thank you.”

      I am a liitle surprised that that injunction has been broadly disregarded by both sides.

      Jane Swales has made the point that the ratings would appear to reflect a measure of animus (again, in both directions) that adds nothing to the knowledge-base. Both sides have been somewhat disingenuous – the withholding of the negative reports from N Dakota, on the one hand, and the unsubstantiated negative insinuations, on the other.

      Also surprising is the determination of the Pro-Sirians to flog their horse into the afterlife without really coming up with any tangible answers. Perhaps now would be the right time to suspend the debate until we are all in possession of a great deal more information?

      Finally, people know who I am; I post in my own name, with my own profile picture. That may not accord me any special credibility, but I do believe that pseudonymous postings will always be regarded with a healthy suspicion. Why not come out?

      GP’s sarcasm does him little credit.

      • S J Chapman March 31, 2012 at 11:44 am - Reply

        @Nigel Ward: I’m not aware that anyone has been “withholding” information about the North Dakota drilling site. As far as I know, it has taken the company a year to analyse the geological and seismic data they obtained during that drilling programme and the North Dakota State Geology Department have also been studying it. They have only recently concluded that the site has no further commercial or exploratory value. As the article states, it is being restored this spring, in line with the company’s prior undertaking.

        In the course of my research, there are myriad other snippets of information about Sirius, about North Yorkshire, about minerals and much else that I have learned. Most of that knowledge has not yet been relevant to this discussion — so am I therefore withholding information from you? I also know quite a lot about Sirius’s North Yorkshire community relations initiatives but I haven’t mentioned them either. Am I “withholding” this information from you?

  35. Graham Presley March 31, 2012 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Having never been to the Middle East, I am working purely on supposition, but I can not imagine that a fence company would have very good prospects in that area? Larch lap, or interwoven?
    🙂

  36. Graham Presley March 31, 2012 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Jane. I guess that would depend on your definition of what local interests would be. If you think that local interest is best served by doing nothing, accepting that economic progress is something from which the area should be excluded. despite the obvious downside for the working population, they yes, I would stand against that. On the other hand, if you think that the area would benefit from the establishment of the mine subject to strict controls and tight ongoing scrutiny, with the benefits to the whole commercial community that would ensue, then yes I would stand in favour of that. For years, the story coming from the North East is that economic progress has been denied simply due to its’ geographical location. Workers of ambition forced to work away or move away completely in order to earn a better living for themselves and their families. If some of those people can establish good jobs in a long term operation such as this one, they are able to spread those earnings out through the community simply by continuing to live there. I believe that those people would be so happy to stay in such a lovely area whilst able to afford themselves the fruits of their labour. A life on benefits is a dreary alternative in my view.

  37. admin March 31, 2012 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I would disagree in part with Nigel with regards to the use of pseudonyms. This is the way of the internet. I have run a massively successful sea angling website for many years (Roughly 2 million hits last year). Upon the forum, by far the majority of people post from behind pseudonyms. In all the years of running that site I can count on one hand the amount of people who caused me a problem to the extent I had to ban them. Twice Ive had to speak to the police. By and large the forum has 5,500 members. 99% post behind a pseudonym and come from across the world. All get on and all have respect for each others opinions. On this site I get so much trouble its unbelievable and certainly on one occasion the most grief has come from a person posting under his real name. My advice would be to take comments as you find them regardless of the persons screen or real name. Give credit where credits due and most certainly in the world of politics, expect people to disagree and expect some people to say black is white when it most clearly isnt, there is nothing that can be done about that, politiceans bend the truth in the extreme every day of thier lives. Expect Sarcasm, expect humour, expect things you dont like. The only things I intend to moderate out are real personal attacks, such as comments about a persons appearance, slanderous remarks, racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia etc. One last note on pseudonyms. Whats to stop me calling myself Reg Yates and grabbing an image off google images to use as my avatar. Unless you know a person personally you are never going to know if they are posting under a real name or one that they made up. Does Vincent Vega exist ? If so does he know Nigel ward Or Vanda Inman. Food for thought.

  38. Vincent Vega March 31, 2012 at 11:14 am - Reply

    @Nigel ward.

    I post with a pseudonym for one very special reason which shall remain personal, at least to this website. If there are any issues with my posts, then admin has my email address.

    I am somewhat disappointed with your assertion that because of my avatar, that my points come with a dose of suspicion. Does that mean that all of the names used on here are anymore real than mine? I would have thought the quality of the post in order to further debate is more important than whether one calls themself Mathew, Mark Luke or John.

    As far as tangible answers are concerned, I feel that an awful lot of questions, using public domain sources, have been answered. Those that haven’t are still unknowns as per my previous post.

    • Nigel Ward March 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      @ Vincent Vega:

      I did not assert that:

      “because of my [ie: your] avatar, that my [ie: your] points come with a dose of suspicion.”

      What I stated was:

      “I do believe that pseudonymous postings will always be regarded with a healthy suspicion.”

      I arrive at that opinion on the basis that I am frequently assured, by people from all walks of life and across the political spectrum, that they are less trustful of unidentified sources.

      Disagree with that opinion, if you wish. Nevertheless, that is my experience. Perhaps other posters will take another view. My own preference is to sit down and have a frank exchange of views, over a coffee and a sticky bun, with a fellow human being.

  39. admin March 31, 2012 at 11:30 am - Reply

    I havent read all your posts Vincent as this isnt the type of debate I want to get to deeply into. I have my own views based largely on the visual effects of a mine in the park.. On either topic re:potash I havent seen any posts that have made me overly concerned. I have my suspicions about the motives of some people but I certainly haven’t seen any comments that are not worthy of being on the site. I think some people here are share holders, some are landowners who stand to make profit, and I even think the company have people commenting. Undertsnading that point should allow readers to realise where individuals are coming from. Do I have any proof of any of that ? No. But you may continue to use a pseudonym with no problem as far as I’m concerned. That may cause some people to challenge your agenda, but Im sure that would happen even if you gave your real name and disclosed your back ground. Your quite clearly pro syrian afterall.

  40. Graham Presley March 31, 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Nigel, sorry if my attempt at humour was not to your liking. I was simply pointing out that in my personal opinion the allegation that the project was run by some shady Middle East concern was so factually incorrect as to be farcical. Perhaps the person who makes the claim would provide even a shred of evidence.
    What tangible answers are you seeking please? I am just posting my opinion in a debate, but I do note that others have attached links supporting their views. The pre planning consultation phase is all about examining what information is available, and it is available to us all, I dont have anything not available to anyine else.
    Finally, I had no idea about any issue in Dakota other than that the company intended to focus itself on the Yorkshire project at this stage. Resources are limited, and it wouldnt be feasible for them to progress all three of their interests at the same time. My original interst in the company was sparked by Dakota, where the ultimate aim was to utilise the mined out caverns in a novel way to store wind energy. There are many other salt mines in the area as I understand it.

  41. Vincent Vega March 31, 2012 at 11:46 am - Reply

    @Admin,

    Thank you for your post. I am indeed a shareholder in Sirius. I first invested in Feb 2009, long before York Potash were bought by the Company.

    I invest in a number of Companies that I believe offer a compelling story and potential returns. If I thought for one moment that Sirius began to demonstrate that they were not going about this project in the right manner then I would withdraw my investment for 2 simple reasons. 1. Believe it or not I would hate to see NYNP damaged beyond repair for the sake of a mine. I have visited the area on many ocassions and recognise its beauty and worth. 2. If they go about it in the wrong manner and are not satisfying all practicable concerns then I would also withdraw my investment as it will never go ahead anyway.

    One thing that people should consider is that there will be many E-Ds on here that invest in the stock market if not directly through purchasing individual shares, then indirectly through contributing to a pension as all pension funds invest in the stock market and if there were no returns, there would be no pensions.

    • Tim Thorne March 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      “Thank you for your post. I am indeed a shareholder in Sirius. I first invested in Feb 2009”

      You said elsewhere it was 2008.

  42. Graham Presley April 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    I note that my post from 31st in which I stated that a life on benefits was a dreary alternative to a well paid, worthwhile job has been voted down by 20 to 3. Can I ask those who voted if they can look the person who is seeking such work as an alternative to either moving away or staying unemployed in the eye and tell them why they are writing off such residents’ legitimate aspirations?

    • Nigel Ward April 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      @ Graham: I think I can probably help you with this. I have been posting on Real Whitby for quite some time now. I have often watched the ‘Thumbs Down’ (and sometimes even the ‘Thumbs Ups’) piling up against my posts faster than anybody could possibly read and digest them. I conclude from that that some people dislike me, my politics, my writing style, my face – whatever – with such intensity that the very sight of my name makes them ‘pull the trigger’ on the ‘Thumbs Down’ from the hip – so to speak. It cannot be helped. Maybe if they took the time to actually read my posts – or yours – they would, in good conscience, vote otherwise. Don’t hold your breath. 😉

      All it means is that some folk don’t like where you are coming from. L:ike me, you will have to live with it.

  43. Dave Heselton April 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    I have reservations about the potash mine, and as much as I have every sympathy for anyone who is unemployed (been there, done that, got the T shirt), I will not support a project which we know almost nothing about purely because it would give some people a job.

    A proposal to build an oil refinery on Kettleness nab would provide jobs, as would a chemical plant in Pannet Park, but hey, wait a god damned minute here.

    These big companies are predictable, they want to build in an enviromentaly sensetive area, or in the middle of a major tourist area and they hold the gun to your head “give us your permission and you get the jobs”.

    I want to see more jobs – but not at any price, I have doubts whether this project can be done without harming the moors or the landscape, but we should all wait and see.

  44. Vincent Vega April 4, 2012 at 7:06 am - Reply

    I noticed this article in the Letters section. Interesting to note the comments from locals and a tourist on the subject of jobs, holiday lets and the impact that this has on the difficulty that Whitby people have in affording property in the area…

    http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/letters/whitby-a-ghetto-of-empty-properties-in-the-winter-1-4391326

    Evening All

    The following just goes to show any industry can cause offence and you can find an argument if you’re looking, love the letter at the end as well. Looks like the winter could be the best time for open debate on the PA.

    Whitby – a ghetto of empty properties in the winter

    Published on Sunday 1 April 2012 09:47

    Of course there should limitations on holiday lets.

    Our children cannot afford to buy in their home town because strangers with larger purses can come and buy.

    They never live in the town and in some streets through the winter there is effectively a ghetto of empty properties.

    In the summer parking is impossible because two and sometimes three cars per holiday home are parked for the whole week – this means that shopping has to be carried quite a distance which can be a problem for all sorts of reasons.

    Before the letting agents scream that they are bringing income to the town let’s have a thought for those of us that live here and maybe these business people would like to walk in our shoes and see how they like living with the problems that are caused.

    I could go on about the noise of late night revellers coming home etc but enough I think the point has been made.

    Disgruntled resident, Whitby town by email

    spy
    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 07:41 AM
    Tourism is not the town biggest earner. The public sector and benefits are. Tourism provides a few, low skilled, minimum wage jobs for less than 6 months of the year.

    2
    Cuvin
    Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:47 AM
    We cannot escape the fact that tourism is now the main industry in the area, but equaly we cannot get away from the fact that tourism does have a down-side, it has its drawbacks and disadvantages, and holiday homes are probably the number 1 disadvantage. Could we have tourism without holiday lets ?, yes of course we can, there are lots of B&Bs, guest houses, hotels and camp sites and mobile homes cabins. The rules need to be changed on holiday lets, any property that is unoccupied for long periods should pay double council tax, all holiday lets should be eligable for business rates AND council tax, aswell as all other relevant taxes including CGT etc; Holiday homes have destroyed communities and villages like Runswick Bay which is deserted in winter, holiday homes are the cause of shops closing, post offices, pubs and schools, they have been responsible for bus services been withdrawn. Yes – tourism is important to us, but not at any cost, some aspects of tourism are not popular, and I am afraid to say that holiday homes are not popular with locals.

    1
    J Young
    Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 06:56 PM
    Having just returned from a gorgeous week in Whitby we are sorry that we caused offence to “disgruntled resident” by just being there. Whether heshe likes it or not, by living where they do, tourism comes with the territory and, rightly or wrongly, the town would not survive without it. I agree that there does appear to be an awful number of holiday let properties, it is especially noticeable [to us] in the old town which is so attractive yet most of it is given over to tourists which takes away from it’s character somehow. With regards to house prices, i’m afraid the writer needs to look further afield. We have seen an array of properties for sale in Whitby, as advertised on the internet and in the Gazette, and can honestly say that, compared to many places in the country, they are very competitively priced. We live in a very average industrial Midlands town and can’t believe how much cheaper properties are in Whitby, we might even move ourselves though doesn’t sound like we’d be particularly welcomed with open arms!

  45. Graham Presley April 4, 2012 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Thanks Dave and Nigel for the response. Have to say that I am one of the lucky ones, I am nearing the end of my working days, and, apart from a few weeks on sick pay due to torn back muscles, have been fully (mainly self) employed all my days. My younger son is not so lucky, and is what I guess is called long term unemployed. Comes as a shock to me to see able minds and strong arms wasted in this way.
    I dont think Sirius are really a big company, they have their offices in York, and they are at this stage a small group who are, as far as I can see, very approachable. As part of the planning process, all aspects will need to be available for everyone to see. I would expect to see models of proposed buildings, access routes etc, laid out on a mock up of the area proposed once it has been decided. Being fully aware of the value and sensitivity of the precious landscape, I am certain that they will be giving much thought to the most sympathetic design possible. I intend to go and see it once it is on show, combined with a visit to my recently born grandaughter in the area. I really hope we can all continue to talk about it as the plan unfolds.

  46. Ian Victa April 4, 2012 at 9:03 am - Reply

    It has taken the wisdom of Nigel to give us a balanced view. See what he has done by not listening to vested interests, but taking a logical look at the situation.
    One thing: mining right options are currently being paid for in cash, at least for the small landowners. I cannot speak for the large estates, such as the Duchy of Lancaster (ER II) who will have negotiated independently.
    While we are on the matter of the large mineral rights owners, are we not forgetting that the largest of all is actually us, the people, through the Crown Estate, which owns all the undersea rights?

  47. Vincent Vega April 4, 2012 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Ian, The Crown Estate came into force after an agreement between GeorgeIII and the then Goverment. This effectively made the Treasury the formal stakeholder, but not the outright owner.

    All lands formerly owned by the Crown would be managed by an independant body – The Crown Estate and in return the Monarchy’s Civil List would draw payment from the profits. Surplus profits would then be paid to the Treasury.

    Insofar as this effects royalties, it only comes into force in the main on any onshore land under the Crown Estate’s management. The biggest chunk being offshore and at this stage, Sirius has not carried out any offshore seismics in the same way as Boulby has. This, I can only imagine would happen at a later stage when the mine is up and running.

    • Ian Victa April 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Insofar as this effects royalties, it only comes into force in the main on any onshore land under the Crown Estate’s management. The biggest chunk being offshore and at this stage, Sirius has not carried out any offshore seismics in the same way as Boulby has. This, I can only imagine would happen at a later stage when the mine is up and running.

      But they must have signed a lease or at least an option with the Crown Estate.

      Strange that York Potash would go ahead without having surveyed the vast deposits that must lie under the sea. I assume someone knows the general geology of the seabed and can be certain that there is unlikely to be any surprises.

  48. Vincent Vega April 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Ian, they have signed a lease. Google, Zechstein Sea.

    This formation goes from the north east coast of England through Germany and Poland.

    Sirius has historical geological data which is available to all on Google. They also have records on 76 onshore drill bores and 5 offshore within their permit area.

    They will exploit this area if the mine goes ahead.

    Most (not all) of your questions on here can be answered very easily on the website.

    http://www.Siriusminerals.com

  49. Jon Owen April 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Ian/Vincent

    The Crown Estate are charging Boulby mine for mining rights – Boulby have extended tunneling some 13km under the sea in recent years. Sirius have also formed agreements with CE. CE earned some £47m last year from off shore activities. Nowerdays their income goes to the treasury.

    Local authorities would also make an income from comercial mining activities via rates, leasing and permiting fees.

    http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/marine/minerals-potash/

    http://ar2011.thecrownestate.ry.com/performance/default.aspx

    http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business-news/latest-business-news/2011/02/15/cleveland-potash-quest-is-setting-sail-51140-28173030/

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9ed25f12-16bf-11e1-a45d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1rO1kFST5

    Jon.

  50. Dave Heselton April 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Have Sirius waited until now to draw up their plans for a potash mine because no matter where it will be sited, and no matter how it will look,it will be allowed to go ahead, do they have their finger on the governments pulse, and here are my reasons for posing this question.

    The present government is determined at all costs to encourage any kind of economic activity, especialy any industry which will improve the trade deficit, employ people, contribute money to the treasurey and help to turn around the dismal growth figures which are as a result of George Osbornes failed economic plans.

    The evidence on which I base my opinions is to be found partly in todays announcement that “Hydro-fracking” or “Fracking”, a highly controversial method of gas extraction, is to be allowed to continue, this is despite the method been linked to causing earth tremours, as in the case involving the Blackpool area.

    The government have also shifted planning laws heavily in favour of developers, industry and builders, though supposedly the National Park factor should still influence heavily, or will it. ?

    And finaly, the government have been continualy telling us that the private sector will make up for the hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs that are disappearing fast due to the cuts. Though this prediction has so far failed to materialise, the government are desperate to encourage and allow any kind of private enterprise.

    The bottom line is that political ideology and money may well have more to do with the outcome here than the economic well being of the Whitby area or the enviromental costs to the North York Moors.

    Our illustrious MP has allready stated that this project is evidence that the private sector will take up the slack of all the newly unemployed policemem, teachers, nurses and local government workers.

    Is the writing on the wall ?

  51. Vincent Vega April 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    David, I don’t think for one minute that the writing is on the wall. Your MP has also stated that Sirius will not be given a blank cheque when it comes to the National Park. They will afterall have to pass the Major Development Test. (SILKIN Test)

    NYNP has already taken steps to ensure that they have the necessary expertise to evaluate such a project…………….

    1
    NORTH YORK MOORS NATIONAL
    PARK AUTHORITY
    TENDER FOR MINERALS PLANNING AND
    ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANCY CONTRACT
    TENDER PROCESS INFORMATION PACK
    April 2012
    2
    1. The Tender Process
    The process includes four stages:
    a) submission of a pre-qualification questionnaire;
    b) evaluation of responses by the Authority, taking up of references and short
    listing businesses for invitation to tender;
    c) submission of tender documents and subsequent evaluation by the Authority
    leading to stage d);
    d) awarding the contract.
    1.1 The Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)
    The purpose of the PQQ is to assist the North York Moors National Park Authority
    (the Authority) in deciding which service providers to shortlist for invitation to tender
    to provide minerals planning and environmental consultancy services for an initial
    period of twelve months, effective from the 25 June 2012, with an option to extend
    for a further twelve months. Further information on the service requirement (“the
    Requirement”) is included at Section 2 below and all bidders should have regard to
    this when completing the questionnaire.
    PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE COST INFORMATION IN THIS SUBMISSION.
    It has been issued by the Authority in connection with a competitive procurement
    conducted in accordance with the Restricted Procedure under the Public Contract
    Regulations 2006 (“the Regulations”). The services to be provided are listed under
    Part B of Schedule 3 of the Regulations and are therefore, not subject to the full
    advertising requirements as it is deemed that the contract will only be of interest to
    bidders in the United Kingdom due to the nature of the service.
    The PQQ sets out the Information which is required by the Authority in order to
    assess the suitability of potential providers in terms of their technical knowledge,
    expertise, experience, capability/capacity, organisational and financial standing to
    meet the requirement. It is the intention of the Authority to use this to arrive at a
    shortlist of between 4 and 10 qualified potential providers for formal Invitation To
    Tender (“ITT”).
    No information contained in this PQQ or in any communication made between the
    Authority and any potential provider in connection with this PQQ, shall be relied upon
    as constituting a contract, agreement or representation that any contract shall be
    offered in accordance with this PQQ. The Authority reserves the right, subject to the
    appropriate procurement regulations, to change without notice the basis of, or the
    procedures for, the competitive tendering process or to terminate the process at any
    time. Under no circumstances shall the Authority incur any liability in respect of this
    PQQ or any supporting documentation.
    Direct or indirect canvassing of any Members, public sector employee or agent by
    any potential bidder concerning this requirement, or any attempt to procure
    information from any Members, public sector employee or agent concerning this
    PQQ (other than through channels explicitly authorised in documentation issued by
    the Authority) may result in disqualification of the potential provider from
    consideration for this requirement.
    The object of the qualification process is to assess the responses to the PQQ and
    select Potential Providers to proceed to the next stage of the Procurement.
    3
    In assessing the answers to questions the Authority will be seeking evidence of the
    Potential Provider’s suitability to perform the services in terms of economic and
    financial standing, technical and professional ability. The PQQ will be scored in
    accordance with the weightings and scoring matrix included in this pack. The
    qualification criteria include a combination of both financial and non financial factors
    and will be in accordance with Regulations 23 to 26 of the Regulations.
    The Authority will not reimburse any costs incurred by potential providers in
    connection with the preparation and submission of their responses to this PQQ.
    1.2 References
    It is the intention of the Authority to take up references once the PQQs have been
    submitted and these will form part of the evaluation to decide who to shortlist for
    inviting to tender. If a potential provider does not achieve a satisfactory reference,
    they will be excluded from further consideration in the tender process.
    1.3 Tender documents and clarification meeting
    The shortlist will include a minimum of 4 bidders who will be invited to tender. If the
    Authority receives fewer than 4 suitable submissions we will follow our approved
    procurement process to enable us to invite tenders from a shorter list.
    If your submission is not included on the shortlist you will be notified in writing by the
    Authority.
    If your submission is included on the shortlist an ‘Invitation to Tender’ will be sent to
    you. Following submission and evaluation of this tender, the contract will be awarded
    to the Most Economically Advantageous (MEA) tender. This means that the award
    will not be based solely on the lowest bid, but will also take into account the
    tenderers’ responses to quality questions in the tender itself.
    4
    2. The Requirement
    Background
    The Authority is an independent authority within the local government framework
    established by the Environment Act 1995 and its statutory duties and functions are
    defined by this Act. The Authority’s statutory purposes are to conserve and enhance
    the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the North York Moors National
    Park and to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of its special
    qualities by the public (section 61). The Authority also has a duty to seek to foster the
    economic and social well being of its communities (section 62) and is the Local
    Planning Authority including responsibility for Minerals Planning (section 67).
    The current Development Plan consists of the Yorkshire and Humber Plan: 2008 (the
    Regional Spatial Strategy) and the North York Moors Local Development Framework
    (Core Strategy and Development Policies (2008)).
    Core Planning Policies seek to ensure that development within the National Park
    does not harm National Park Purposes and the specific minerals development policy
    (Core Policy E) permits only small scale working of existing stone quarries to provide
    building stone within the National Park. All other minerals proposals will be assessed
    against the major development test relating to development in protected landscapes,
    as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (2012).
    The Authority was contacted in January 2011 by York Potash, a company involved in
    exploratory drilling within the National Park with the aim of establishing a mine head
    and associated infrastructure to extract and transport Potash reserves to a treatment
    plant to be established outside the National Park at Teessport.
    The Authority has set up a small internal project team which will deliver the
    Authority’s response to the potash proposal. It is anticipated that a Planning
    Performance Agreement will be entered into which sets out a project management
    approach to the pre-application phase of the proposal and ensures a rigorous and
    timely consideration of the application.
    The Authority requires a specialist consultancy provider with a proven track record to
    provide a high quality service to the Authority in dealing with the potash proposal.
    The practice selected must be able to demonstrate its understanding of the
    Authority’s key objectives and demonstrate its commitment to them.
    Contract Period
    The contract will commence on 25 June 2012 for an initial period of one year with a
    potential extension of twelve months in the event of a call-in by the Secretary of State
    or an appeal inquiry.
    Service Requirement
    The Authority requires the services of a minerals planning and environmental
    consultancy with particular expertise of delivery high quality outcomes on major
    developments in relation to minerals applications and with specific experience of
    potash developments. Although not essential, it is highly desirable that this
    experience is relevant to developments within, or in close proximity to protected
    landscapes. The practice selected must be able to demonstrate its understanding of
    the Authority’s statutory purposes and relevant planning policies.
    The required services include:
    5
    • Provision of Project Management Services to work with the in-house team and
    the Authority’s legal advisers to develop and steer the pre and post application
    processes in relation to any application arising from the proposal;
    • Provision of technical advice and expertise relating to socio-economic impacts,
    landscape assessment, archaeological and ecological impacts, mining
    engineering and design, access and infrastructure, minerals planning,
    hydrology and geology, the ‘potash industry’ and the national and international
    markets and need for Potash based fertiliser products, mining subsidence and
    waste disposal;
    • Provision of analysis of the impacts on both the global and national economy of
    major potash mining developments;
    • Provision of technical advice on screening and scoping of Environmental
    Impact Assessments and the detailed assessment of Environmental
    Statements;
    • Advice on the application of the Major Development Test under the National
    Planning Policy Framework in relation to the Potash proposal and detailed
    challenge and critical assessment of research reports and studies submitted to
    address the provisions of the test;
    • Any other specialist advice and analysis which may become necessary as the
    proposal is developed.
    Specific activities will include, by way of example:
    • Providing a dedicated Project Manager who will be based at the Authority’s
    offices in Helmsley as required (anticipated to be approximately 2 days per
    week) and will develop and steer the pre and post application processes in
    relation to any application arising from the proposal. The Project Manager will
    also attend meetings of the Project Management Group to be set up under
    the proposed Planning Performance Agreement (anticipated to be monthly);
    • Providing a rigorous and critical assessment of information and documents
    prepared by York Potash in connection with the proposal;
    • Liaising with York Potash to query and, where appropriate, challenge
    information and documents provided;
    • Commissioning, overseeing and presenting specialist reports for
    consideration by the Authority’s planning staff;
    • Assisting the Authority at meetings with York Potash to negotiate potential
    amendments to the proposal and any planning conditions that may be
    considered;
    • Attending meetings with statutory consultees to discuss the proposal;
    • Attending meetings of the National Park Authority and its Planning Committee
    if required.
    6
    • Co-ordinating the provision of information that may be required in the event of
    an application arising from the proposal being called in by the Secretary of
    State for the Environment.
    • If a Public Local Inquiry takes place in connection with the proposal, as a
    result of either the refusal of a planning application or an application being
    called in, providing expert witnesses on behalf of the Authority if required.
    It is anticipated that work under the contract will be task based and the successful
    contractor will be asked to complete a series of specific tasks relating to the potash
    proposal. Tenderers will be asked to provide hourly rates for the provision of
    consultancy services by members of their team. Payment will be for time spent on
    specific tasks as instructed by the Authority. Although the Authority expects that
    tasks will be ongoing throughout the twelve month contract period, it cannot
    guarantee continuity of work throughout the period.
    The Authority will provide suitable office accommodation for the Project Manager but
    the contractor must provide the all other resources required to deliver the service
    including staff, IT and other equipment and support.
    The Contractor and the Authority will both nominate individuals to be responsible for
    Contract Monitoring and Liaison. The Contractor will be responsible for the
    management of any dedicated professional and specialist providers. Issues of
    performance will be dealt with as part of the Contract Monitoring process.
    7
    3. Guidance to completing the PQQ
    3.1 Timetable
    Set out below is the proposed procurement timetable. This is intended as a guide
    and, whilst the Authority does not intend to depart from the timetable it reserves the
    right to do so at any time.
    Date Activity
    17 April 2012 Tender advertised in accordance with the
    requirements for Schedule 3 Part B of
    the Regulations and the Authority’s
    Standing Orders and Financial
    Regulations
    9 May 2012 Deadline for Submission of Completed
    PQQ
    16 May 2012 Evaluation of PQQ’s Completed
    17 May 2012 ITT issued to qualified potential providers
    28 May 2012 Tender Return Date
    6 June 2012 Evaluation of Tenders Completed
    7 June 2012 Tenderers informed of recommendation
    8 – 18 June 2012 Alcatel standstill period
    19 June 2012 Contract Award
    3.2 Authority named contact point
    The Authority’s named contact point for the procurement is:
    Chris France
    Director of Planning
    North York Moors National Park Authority
    The Old Vicarage
    Bondgate
    Helmsley
    North Yorkshire
    YO62 5BP
    Tel: 01439 770657
    Fax: 01439 770691
    Email: c.france@northyorkmoors-npa.gov.uk
    3.3 Instructions for completion
    Recipients are invited to complete the attached PQQ and to submit it, together with
    any requested supporting documentation, to the Authority by the due date for return
    in accordance with the procedures set out in the paragraph below entitled
    “Submitting the PQQ”.
    Potential providers should answer all questions as accurately and concisely as
    possible in the same order as the questions are presented. When a question is not
    relevant to the potential provider’s business or organisation, this should be indicated
    with an explanation.

  52. Chrisall April 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    However, information from Burke County, North Dakota, where a once-trumpeted ‘strike’ by Sirius-subsidiary Dakota Salts LLC has now been reported as having been abandoned (allegedly leaving its 21,492 gross mineral acres site derelict for over a year), has been left un-addressed by the gung-ho Pro-Sirian commentators on a previous article here on Real Whitby. That is rather disturbing.

    ———-

    I’ll address that for you now Nigel:

    ND regulator says potash well site cleaned up

    …Ed Murphy, North Dakota’s state geologist, said the test well site had been cleaned up since a potash development critic, Ted Hawbaker, of Portal, told lawmakers earlier this year that it had been left a mess.

    State regulations require Dakota Salts to restore the drilling site to its former condition. Murphy said the land’s owner has asked that reclamation be delayed because the well may be sold for another use, such as for oil exploration or salt water disposal. Brine is a byproduct of oil production, which is booming in western North Dakota.

    Starzecki, in an interview, said reports of an unkempt drilling site were exaggerated.

    “The site’s been cleaned. We’ve had all the environmental box-checking done and have our reclamation plan already drawn up,” he said…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57422607/nd-regulator-says-potash-well-site-cleaned-up/

    Cheers,
    Chrisall

  53. Serious Investor April 30, 2012 at 6:12 am - Reply
  54. admin April 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Due to inflammatory and trolling posting style of some individuals from Sirius mineral using pseudonyms, comments on this article is now closed. If you wish to comment further on this article then the facebook comments section is open at the end of the article above.

  55. admin February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Local GP Speaks Out – Read More Here.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/04/mineral-wealth-belongs-to-all

    It is unnecessary (there is no world shortage of potash, and there is already a potash mine in the national park which could increase production of potash and polyhalite), speculative (wholly dependent on the market) and designed purely for private profit. The effects can only be destructive: disruption to already inadequate roads, noise and light pollution; radical alteration of soils, landscape and wildlife. The energy used will mean a huge carbon footprint. Of course there will be jobs, but the unemployment rate in the national park is under 2%. If we don’t protect national parks from industrialisation, what is the point of them?
    Dr David Cunion
    Ugglebarnby, North Yorkshire

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