Potash Mining In The National Park – “Small Town Politics”

An oblique view of current York Potash developments

- by Vanda Inman

  • “We may have some trouble with Ted Hawbaker…”

The Bismarck Tribune newspaper (North Dakota) reported that a company that had been exploring the potential for potash mining in North Dakota was abandoning the project.  Don Dickie, a senior geologist for Dakota Salts’ parent company, Sirius Minerals PLC of London, told The Associated Press:

  • “The test results weren’t as promising as hoped and it would focus instead on a project in England…”

Ted Hawbaker, of Portal (ND), said:

  • “The land where test drilling was done hasn’t yet been restored to its original condition, even though drilling ceased about a year ago.
  • The site is “a mess” and the state Industrial Commission, which granted the drilling permit, hasn’t done anything about it”, Hawbaker told a North Dakota legislative committee studying potash taxation.
  • There’s plastic, there’s junk all over. It hasn’t been cleaned up,” Hawbaker said. “It sits there just as they left it.”

Ed Murphy, North Dakota’s State Geologist, said Dakota Salts would restore the site in springtime. The work will include filling in waste disposal pits and removing a short gravel road that provided access to the site. That work has now been done
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is quite ironic how ‘small town politics’ can turn into Chinese whispers, quite literally. From the Sirius Investors website, it is clear that anyone who raises concerns about Sirius’ Potash projects, is viewed, discussed and met with pretty some fierce ‘reasoned replies’:

03.01.13 Thu 17:28 – WG and…populationexpectations

“To J O and Sq and those who have taken the time to respond politely with a reasoned argument to the Detractors many thanks. ( Yes JO I know you and thank you and Sq especially and others for your continuing positive input in so many ways ) I was going to reply to the WG “antis” but you have beaten me to it with your points so well put.”

But, that treatment is not just for individuals, but for the local National Park Authority as well . For example, this comment:

03/01/13 Thu 14:30 RE:  WG philwad 18+

  • “The most telling part ‘We have been working with them for two years now prior to the application being submitted – it won’t just land on our desk and we have 16 weeks – we have had two years dealing with it.’
  • “Working with them” A.K.A. helping them to ensure a successful outcome within 16 weeks.”

To my reading, that comes pretty close to an allegation of collusion.

And then it is repeated, by another participant:

03/01/13 Thu 14:4 RE: WG Sheffieldsteeler

  • “The most telling part ‘“We have been working with them for two years now prior to the application being submitted – it won’t just land on our desk and we have 16 weeks – we have had two years dealing with it.’
  • ‘Working with them’ A.K.A. helping them to ensure a successful outcome within 16 weeks.”

potash_interior

Don’t forget that the Councils of Whitby and Scarborough have been fully supportive of the project, from day one.

This is a quote from Tom Fox, Leader of Scarborough Council, following the initial announcement of the huge discovery in October 2011:

  • “It is really good news, and it is exciting news. The fact that the find is so substantial really encourages the investment needed for this project will need. The demand for potash globally is massive, so this is a fantastic opportunity for us in the area. We just hope that they can move forward now to put in a planning application that is acceptable to everybody.”

Sounds positive to me. Also, I do not think that it is any co-incidence that Matt Parsons was recruited from Scarborough Borough Council. The Council have always stated their desire to ensure that the project is utilised as much as possible in terms of local employment; what better way to do that then getting ‘your man’ appointed as Education and Skills Manager at York Potash?

If there was any huge issue over Planning Permission then, IMVHO, we would know about it by now. Like GK, I also think that this will be approved first time.

And following on from the Chief Exec Chris Fraser’s recent appearance on BBC Radio York, the chat-page throws up another gem:

CP –

  • “An excellent interveiwer too, asking all the right questions so fraser can give all the right answers! it was almost a double act.”

Again, the inference that York Potash has the planning sewn up, with a little help from its friends.

Now, some good news for the Sirius share dealers:

  • “A nice 900,000-share buy at 26.74p just gone through…… promptly followed by a delayed 250k @ 26.7p and another 258,100 @ 26.84p.”

And a chance to celebrate:

04-01-13

  • “I’m looking forward to meeting those attending Sunday’s meeting at the Vines, Lime Street, Liverpool. I’ve noted three attendees todate; Chrisall, Birdi2 and Secretsqu.
  • It’s not a pub I know, so I’ve no idea how hard it’s going to be to spot Sirius investors – part from their large grins as they contemplate their 2013 gains !
  • Are you planning to have a card on your table, identifying yourselves, or is it a case of approaching any likely looking bunch and introducing myself?
  • You three may well already know each other by sight. Any distinguishing features which will aid identification? I’m sixty and will be wearing a long, brown leather coat.
  • See you Sunday,
  • Degsy”

Clearly the Sirius investors believe the Planning Process is a mere formality and the project is “too big” to be rejected by the “desk jockeys” at the NYMNPA.

After all, any objections are only ‘Small Town Politics’.

However, Sirius Minerals ‘major asset’ is the York Potash project, with a proposal of sinking two mine shafts with underground winding towers within the mine head, to extract potash from two deep polyhalite seams which lie beneath the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, extending eastward underneath the North Sea. Once extracted the mineral would be transported along pipelines for processing on Teesside.

Currently, York Potash is seeking consent for the proposed development from four separate authorities:

  • The North Yorkshire Moors National Park Authority  – to consider the mine head at Dove’s Nest Farm and the extraction of the mineral resource beneath the National Park.
  • The National Infrastructure Directorate – to consider the pipeline
  • The Marine Management Organisation – to consider the extraction of potash from beneath the sea
  • Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council -  to consider the processing and port facilities.

According to the NYMNP web site:

“Pre-application discussions between York Potash and the National Park Authority are continuing and it was anticipated that a planning application would be submitted before the end of 2012. The Authority has entered into a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) with York Potash which sets out a timetable for determining the planning application within the statutory 16 week time limit for large scale EIA developments.”

Sirius Minerals and the York Potash project is investor-led; they are relying on investors to finance the project through the selling of shares, and bulling up the prospects of the share price increasing.

Once the planning permission is granted, the investors are expecting a spike in value.

Whilst shares are traded globally and the dealers speculate their fortunes within their remote high-tech dealer rooms, and discuss Small Town Politics on their internet forums, mocking the Local Authorities, the local media and indeed anyone who raises any concerns.

Perhaps their confidence remains buoyant because of their remoteness to the project and the reportedly successful outcome of York Potash’s cynical Public Consultation process.

That, and the two years of having the NYMNPA Planning people “‘Working with them’ A.K.A. helping them to ensure a successful outcome within 16 weeks.”

As a local community, with both residents and visitors within and without the North Yorkshire Moor National Park, we are right now depending and relying on the integrity and credibility of our NYMNP Authority to protect and preserve our culture, heritage and natural environment.

Clearly the Investors of the Potash Project have shown little respect for this Authority.

I do hope, however, that perhaps they may have underestimated ‘Small Town Politics’.

The next Planning Committee Meeting of the NYMNPA will take place at:

The National Park Office,

The Old Vicarage,

Bondgate,

Helmsley

On Thursday 17 January 2013, at 10am.

Director of Planning is Chris France.  There is also a Chris France who is referred to on the Investors discussions forum. It may be the same Chris France.

The NYMNPA states that:

“York Potash are working in partnership. Other organisations including the Environment Agency and Natural England will be closely involved in consideration of the proposals.”

Relevant Planning Policy:

“The National Park is afforded the highest level of landscape protection and central government policy as set out in Paragraph 116 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (the Major Development Test) applies to proposals for large developments such as the proposed new potash mine.

The Major Development Test states that planning permission for such developments should be refused except in exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that they are in the public interest. Consideration of such applications should include an assessment of the need for the development and the cost of and scope for developing elsewhere. There should also be an assessment of any detrimental effects on the environment and the extent to which they could be moderated.

Core Policy E, Minerals of the Authority’s Core Strategy and Development Policies DPD (November 2008) confirms that proposals for minerals developments (apart from stone quarrying for local needs) will be considered against the Major Development Test.”

Please note that most of the SOP produced will be going to China, which is where most of the money for the development has come from (they already have well established links with Sino Agri).

  • IF THIS IS TRUE, THEN THE PROPOSAL WOULD NOT MEET THE ‘MAJOR DEVELOPMENT TEST.

“The Authority is not in a position to give a view on the proposals or the proposed location for a new mine at this stage. When the planning application is submitted, the Authority will make an objective and rigorous assessment of the proposals and will consult other bodies to decide whether exceptional circumstances exist and whether the mine could be located outside the National Park. The Authority will carefully assess the potential economic benefits as well as the environmental impacts before reaching any decision.”

potash_exterior

 

Going back to the Sirius Investors forum:

Anon:

  • “Must admit I don’t really follow why the UK needs two polyhalite mines. Boulby has a billion tonnes of Polyhalite, existing shafts, existing mine head ,not in a national park.
  • The constraint on sales will be the market’s ability to absorb the stuff not production. The response that SXX seams are richer and therefore cheaper to mine does not convince. That is a benefit only for SXX shareholders if the mine opens and is no concern of the planning authority.”
  • If the NYMNPA refuse planning permission, Sirius Minerals and York Potash will take their proposal to the Secretary of State; much, it would seem, to the annoyance of many of the Investor commenters, who expect  Planning Permissions to be granted at NYMNP stage as 85 – 90% likely.

On a more positive note, York Potash has now submitted a formal request for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening and Scoping Opinion.

This is the first stage of the process which will consider the potential environmental impact of the development of a new mine and the Authority has issued a Screening Opinion that the proposals would be Schedule 2 EIA development.

Details of all documents submitted to the NID can be seen here (including the latest scoping results dated 17.12.12).

And so in this ‘Small Town Politics’ area of North Yorkshire, I believe there are a few issues that remain to be discussed:

  • Any person or body which has a financial interest in Sirius Minerals or York Potash, or associated companies (including local land-owning beneficiaries) should NOT participate in any stage of the decision making/planning process, and all such interests should be declared.
  • Any Section 106 agreements with the National Park and any possible changes thereto, to more amenable conditions for the mine, should be openly stated.
  • A statement should be issued regarding what they actually propose to do with the void space.
  • Finance – perhaps left to the Sirius investors:

Chat:

“Boss, Project risk free NPV of $2.6bn on first shovel, equates to approx 120p/sh (however with expected dilutive slice to ‘partner’ to raise $100 – 150m working cash, that goes down to say, 90p).

Project will still have some risk when shovel ready, so I see 70p as realistic at that point. What’s needed between here and there?

1/ PP,

2/ Inicated to go in PFS,

3/ Finance – combination of partner money and securities (dependant on 1 & 2).

With first ask PP having a high sucess probability (I put it at 85 – 90%, you 95%) and SM11 being between the best 3 wells – note Sirius having the summer 2D seismic data plus historics guiding the DN site choice – I give that a 98% probability of having enough poly to get indicated and PFS (mind you, I have a theory about why indicated didn’t happen earlyer with SM9 and it will be ‘certain’ with SM11).

Then, there remains a large 60%ish (today sp to shovel ready est. risked NPV price, ie 27p-70p) risk discount still being applied by the market, so from the above it seems that it’s the final proviso – the financing probability – that is detering the market most ….. “

“Ted Hawbaker – I guess we won’t be selling him any Pot Ash lol”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Related reading:

“The Wizard of If”

“A Sirius Attempt”

“(Wooly Bully) Job’s a good’un”

 

91 Responses to "Potash Mining In The National Park – “Small Town Politics”"

  1. David Perry  January 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Working with the National Park???? What a joke. They’ve gone and built the approach road at Dove’s Nest farm and built huge great earth bunds there too, all without planning permission.

    Reply
  2. Frank Chalmers  January 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Tom Fox said that there’s huge demand for potash???

    He is either a liar or ill-informed:

    http://www.argusmedia.com/News/Article?id=826928

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324677204578187910640809182.html

    http://www.mining.com/potash-supply-to-exceed-demand-by-2020-report/

    Whatever way it is this is more disgrace for a council that seems never to do what is right for the people.

    Reply
    • Phil  January 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Thing is Frank you’ll find an alternative view very quickly.

      “Worldwide, the increasing demand for potash is expected to exceed the current supply. Over the last decade, the potash industry has experienced rapid growth mostly as a result of higher demands for food, feed and fuel.”

      http://www.napotash.com/aboutpotash/demand/

      You also fail to understand(as many do) that what York Potash are planning to mine isn’t standard Potash.

      Reply
  3. Serious Investor  January 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Utter nonsense as expected.

    Reply
  4. Phil  January 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    ‘Whatever way it is this is more disgrace for a council that seems never to do what is right for the people.’
    —————————–
    You have to be kidding me! What the council are doing is exactly what is right for the people as evident by the support being shown!

    What I find a disgrace is the selfishness of a few people happy to cause the loss of numerous jobs and prosperity to ‘save’ less than 0.001% of the national park that can barely even be seen anyway.

    Reply
    • Bob Hanley  January 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Totally agree with you Phil. What planet does Frank Chalmers live on, the vast majority of people in the area are all in favour of the mine. How disingenuous to show a picture of the Saskatchewan mine site; Sirius will be using latest design technology including putting as much of the mine facilities underground as possible in order to reduce the visual impact. The site will hardly be visible. As you say, very selfish people indeed.

      Reply
  5. admin  January 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Bob, can you qualify this statement ? Have you some research results ? “the vast majority of people in the area are all in favour of the mine” Living in the area I know many in favour and many against, I cant put my hand on my heart and say I know a majority in either camp.

    Reply
  6. ian Mitchell  January 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I started reading this with avid admoration expecting reasond argument but ended up listening to rampent propaganda. As has been proven by national parks world wide, that isolationism and matainance of a pamorama without thinking of the environment including how the local population can benifit from the parks development results in a degredation in the environment and the indigenous population. it has to be to the benefit of all that any development is carried out with consultation with the relavent authorities to suggest consultation means coercion demeans the accuser and not the parties involved. I’m sorry that what started as a reasoned argument disintegrated into isolationist propaganda
    .

    Reply
    • Frank Chalmers  January 6, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      “Propaganda”?

      It read to me like an article with evidence, links, and reasonable commentary.

      What surprises me, is that if you and your associates had factual evidence to refute these articles, that you should not bring them forward.

      Instead you complain, moan and belittle people doing some serious work for the benefit of the community – i.e. they are uncovering dishonorable practices, and reporting real news.

      What are you doing other than complaining and moaning?

      It seems to me like you are busily engaged defending your own rash investments.

      Reply
  7. Stakesby Legs  January 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Thanks for the links, Frank. Factual uptodate expert opinion;

    “Worldwide reserves of potash could surpass demand by 59% to 100% by 2020, says the latest report published by Rabobank, a by Netherlands-based global financial service.

    The report, ‘Playing the Potash Field’, adds that the North American potash consortium Canpotex and its European counterpart BPC won’t sit back and watch while new players inject additional quantities of the fertilizer into the global market.”

    The proSirian brigade are only in for the short haul. Some will get there fingers burned. The big boys won’t let these cowboys out of the starting stalls.

    Reply
    • Tim Thorne  January 7, 2013 at 12:24 am

      “The big boys won’t let these cowboys out of the starting stalls.”

      The whole York Potash Project is built on the house of cards that is the selling price of Potash. All the big two have to do to shut these upstarts down is to drop their price which makes the project completely untenable, if they consider it a threat of course. I did consider making an investment, but the duopoly that control supply and price will have seen the recent MMO application and wonder if they intend to mine 8mtpa plus from the area.

      Reply
  8. Jon Owen  January 7, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Something from the much quoted chat forum:

    “19 05
    andyb28m
    …Is that the blow-in Labour candidate that wants to represent her constituents by trying to stop the biggest potential employer the area has had in years? Constructive engagement would be far more productive. The debate really does not need to be old style jobs v environment. York Potash has come up with something that makes Boulby look like it is from centuries ago. Jobs AND environment is what is on offer. Take your blinkers off Vanda.”
    ———–
    Calling those in power to account is needed in a functioning free society, but you also need to offer alternatives to address the citizens needs.

    They need jobs and a sustainable future, a nice view and a life in bucolic aspic can’t provide this.

    Jon.

    Reply
  9. Fil Opastry  January 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I know of various labour supporters, and a Cllr, that support this project. Vanda does not share the views of the majority of the area, and definitely not the red supporters in the area.

    As CF pointed out in his recent interview on BBC York something like 95% of the responses they had to the survey they ran dring the consultation period were in favour of the project. Less than 1% were against. Anyone strongly against the project would surely have been highly inclined to fill in one of these forms? They were much publicised in the papers at the time.

    Reply
    • mark h  January 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      i dont want it and i didnt get asked.

      so it seems like a lot of people didnt get asked.

      Reply
  10. Nigel Ward  January 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    In an earlier article:

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/scarborough-and-whitby-potash-mining-the-wizard-of-if

    I took a very even-handed view of the York Potash proposal:

    “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!”

    I expressed concern about some unanswered questions:

    “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,

    Perhaps someone can enlighten me on how far these issues have progressed?

    I concluded thus:

    “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.”

    Try to be polite, chaps. Try to offer new information, reliably sourced. Try not to allow personal aspirations to a ‘quick killing’ to colour your responsibilities as a member of the community.

    Reply
  11. secretsqu  January 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/letters/do-not-force-young-families-out-of-the-area-1-5270226

    Do not force young families out of the area

    Published on Saturday 5 January 2013 16:02

    As a local resident of Sneaton I would like to point out a few facts that many of the letters you are publishing at the moment are incorrect.

    Firstly Whitby is not in the national park, the areas around are, so we must all get our facts correct before putting pen to paper.

    The proposed site of the potash mine is in Sneaton parish which is in the National Park.

    If the people that are complaining went to the consultation meetings they would get many of the correct facts.

    Sneaton Parish Council held a public meeting four weeks ago, with the National Parks in attendance to explain the planning procedures etc.

    Not one member of the public was present.

    The majority of the parish are happy about how we have been kept informed and told about any changes that are going on.

    We have got to look at the future of the National Park and the people that work and make a living here.

    The farmers are getting older. The residents are getting older, do we not want new blood, new jobs and life in the parks and Whitby or do we just want a large retirement park with no village families, schools, shops, and pubs that these families will keep going for many years to come?

    If the work is in the local area for them they will stay and be able to afford houses that many can’t today.

    This is the life we want to kick start the economy locally.

    That’s what this site of the potash mine will provide, so let’s all support this project like the village of Sneaton and keep the area alive.

    Do not force our young families out of the area like is happening now, let’s get more local jobs, local housing and keep families in the area.

    If we in Sneaton are doing this, where all the work is going on, and no major problems in the last one and a half years of work, so should the rest of the country.

    Mike Shardlow, Beacon Farm, Sneaton

    Reply
  12. vanda inman  January 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    On a lighter note – JO – I prefer the comment about ‘nationalising’ the mine once it is up and running! Have you seen the Scoping result, its the last document on the NID list of documents which is linked. York Potash have a lot more work to do.

    Boro Cllr Bastiman is already making arrangements for storage at Whitby Business Park. Although geographically my money would be on a new mine head site situated somewhere near Cloughton or Burniston. (just outside of the NP). Could there be two mine head sites or just the one?

    I think there are far too many unknowns in this project to be so cock sure of anything, but best of luck when placing your bets.

    Many thanks for the insight into Goodwill’s determination too. Now there is a right honorable profiteer! lol

    Reply
  13. Jon Owen  January 8, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Hi Vanda.

    “On a lighter note – JO – I prefer the comment about ‘nationalising’ the mine once it is up and running!”
    ————
    Are you saying that if the proposal can satisfy the legitimate concerns of the community and the legal protections for the environment, then it should be allowed to go ahead?

    If so, we are agreed.

    Re nationalisation: I think legal control of enterprise (rules decided by the people) is a better model than command control.

    Re the pipeline SO: it all seems to be about tieing up the detail – but the process should be done correctly and intrested parties should be consulted. This is happening AFAICT. Ditto re minehead/NYMNPA.

    I understand your desire for a minehead near Cloughton – would give the SBC a slap – but the geology precludes this. The shafts and tunneling are so expensive that having a single minehead above the resource is all that’s practicle. It also minimises spoil creation.

    ATB.

    Jon.

    Reply
  14. vanda inman  January 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

    “Are you saying that if the proposal can satisfy the legitimate concerns of the community and the legal protections for the environment, then it should be allowed to go ahead?

    If so, we are agreed.”

    Yes I can agree with that. I have quietly been quite impressed with Sirius/York Pot Ash showing a little more respect for the locality, especially so when the EIA went in.

    My main grump is in fact with SBC who have said little, done little, not researched and are utter contemptible scoundrels. They appear to be more interested in the OAT and Leona Lewis than the security or our National Park. (which I still view as the backbone to our vital Tourist industry).

    Unfortunately with the current Leaders of SBC lacking in standards and sobriety, the phrase a ‘walk in the park’ is too apt. If SBC’s Cllrs and Goodwill could be bothered to take a closer look at the project and ask serious questions, instead of leaping on the ‘thousands of jobs’ bandwagon to get re-elected I would be happier. Seems to me that ALL our Cllrs are playing the safe game and keeping too quiet. Frankly it really is not my place to keep shouting about the project but I don’t hear anyone else shouting any louder. And I fear the feeble excuse of ‘we are waiting for the planning permission to go in’ is leaving it a little too late.

    It would be good if an open independent public meeting at a central Scarborough venue, could be held with Pot Ash People in attendance and not running a show.

    Personally, I would definitely not like to see the project within the National Park, I would rather the mineshaft be at the OAT!

    Reply
  15. andrea lane  January 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Personally, I would definitely not like to see the project within the National Park, I would rather the mineshaft be at the OAT!

    Maybe they could get Leona Lewis to open it ?

    Reply
  16. Richard Ineson  January 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Naturally, everyone hopes that the exploitation of this seemingly vast, underground deposit of potash, will result in the provision of many, desperately needed, long term jobs, with prospects, for the young people of Whitby and a new era of prosperity for the town and the the surrounding area. If this project comes to fruition, it could mean that many of the financial problems which presently beset this area of high unemployment would be solved, virtually overnight. But we must be wary of raising hopes (remember Legoland which was going to be the salvation of this vale of tears, not so long ago?), or putting all of our eggs in one basket, there is a long way to go and there is no guarantee that the mine will go ahead. At worst, this much publicised project could be nothing more than hype, designed to inflate the price of shares in this company. In the mining sector, inflated claims about the potential value of whatever mineral/metal/ore is involved, has often produced more money, for shrewd investors (or those with inside knowledge) by way of a run on shares, than the profit from any actual mining. We must all be aware that the duty of the management of any company, is to produce as much profit as possible for the investors in that company, and this process does not take into account concepts such as job creation, care for the environment, concern for the welfare/prosperity of local people etc. business is business. Money doesn’t just talk, it swears.

    Reply
  17. admin  January 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Keep track of all things Potash at the following link:

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/tag/potash/

    Reply
  18. vanda inman  January 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Admin, that is exactly what is needed, an information source on all things Pot Ash. More incoming once as soon as Q’d.

    Reply
  19. admin  January 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Vanda, I always try to group related topics together by using the tagging system. Problem is there are that many topics its hard to highlight what exists where. The similar articles list in the larger right sidebar can be helpful, as can the 4 site menus (2 at the top and 2 in the footer). Also worth looking at is the following page :

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/site-map/

    Reply
  20. admin  January 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/tag/vanda-inman/

    Reply
  21. Nigel Ward  January 10, 2013 at 12:27 am

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/sirius-a-mess-of-potash

    Reply
  22. Moors Man  January 10, 2013 at 9:17 am

    My (very) limited understanding is that many of the jobs created will need people with underground experience. Where will these come from? Not many in Scarborough or Whitby have such.
    Mind you there is a large, experienced workforce just up the road at Boulby. I believe Sirius have already poached a few people from there. Yes, there are coal mines closing but will people want to relocate?
    So maybe we will just see people moving down form Boulby. Result – not so many new jobs down here and the loss of people up there.

    Reply
  23. Jon Owen  January 11, 2013 at 9:58 am

    There has been a repeated claim by one of your contributors – Tim Thorne – that the proposed potash mine will be used for storage of hazardous waste. He has asked in forums that the company deny this.

    Many have asked Tim to contact the company directly with his concerns, he hasn’t as far as I know, but others have.

    Peter McLennan, General Manager Investor Relations, York Potash has responded to the acusation in a mail he is happy to have published:
    ————-
    “08:52
    Company Clarification
    hezhogg

    I’ve just received this follow up email from Peter McLennan, with respect to my Toxic Waste query:

    “Hi ‘hezhogg’, I promised I would come back to you and here it is. As I said, this is completely unfounded and has no basis of truth to it. We are planning an active and productive potash mine for generations to come – we are not, and have no intention of being, a waste disposal company.

    We do not own the voids once created and none of our local mineral rights agreements give us the right to store any form of waste in the mine, other than that associated with producing potash.

    We will not be dignifying this rumour with a public statement. Please feel free to post this as you see fit.

    Also, please keep up the communication as we appreciate the market intellegence/sentiment/questions.

    Peter.”

    Rumour well and truly smashed! I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear when I read the bit “We are planning an active and productive potash mine for generations to come”

    ATB, Hez ”
    ————
    Jon.

    Reply
    • Tim Thorne  January 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

      From: Tim Thorne
      To: info@yorkpotash.co.uk
      Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012

      Hello,

      I’d like to know what you’re going to use the void spaces for in the new mine. Will you be just be disposing of your own waste down there or will you be selling those void spaces on for other waste disposal? If you do intend to use the void spaces please can you let me know the categories of waste you’ll be using.

      Regards,
      Tim Thorne

      No reply was received to this and another inquiry.

      Reply
      • Fil Opastry  January 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm

        Admittedly it is a shame you didn’t receive a reply back in September as that would have put an end to the sensationalist rumours/scaremongering b-locks that have been flying around. I expect that, naturally, like any upcoming billion dollar engineering project such as YP there are hundreds of emails a day received from people wanting their fingers in the pie. Tender, prospective employees, share holders, local councillors. The list is endless. It’s possible that you just slipped by the wayside. Doubt they were hiding anything Tim. Anyway – nothing to worry about now :) X

        Reply
    • Tim Thorne  January 11, 2013 at 11:10 am

      “2. Demise

      In consideration of the Rent or the Royalty reserved and the covenants on the part of the Tenant contained in this Lease the Landlord so far as it lawfully can or may HEREBY DEMISES unto the Tenant all the Demised Minerals TOGETHER WITH the Rights and any void spaces in the Lease Area created in connection with the working of the Demised Minerals EXCEPTING AND RESERVING to the Landlord the Reserved Rights TO HOLD the Demised Minerals and Rights to the Tenant for the Term determinable as mentioned below SUBJECT TO all rights easements privileges restrictions covenants and stipulations of whatever nature affecting the Lease Area the Demised Minerals and the Rights YIELDING AND PAYING therefor during the Term the Rent or Royalty”

      Reply
  24. vanda inman  January 11, 2013 at 10:25 am

    This is a copy of Schedule 1 of the Lease agreement as follows:
    246154-1 – 18 August 2011
    30
    SCHEDULE 1
    Rights Granted
    1. To search for dig win and work all Demised Minerals by underground workings within
    the Lease Area and to carry away make merchantable and dispose of the same for the
    Tenant’s own benefit
    2. To make such underground roads tunnels or ways through the Lease Area which may
    be necessary or convenient for the effectual working of the Mine (including inter alia
    underground sidings conveyors and other means of transporting the Demised Minerals
    or other minerals and materials within the Mine)
    3. Generally to do all things which shall be convenient or necessary in accordance with
    the terms of this Lease for the winning working getting making merchantable
    processing and disposing of the Demised Minerals in the Lease Area and for obtaining
    the benefit of the rights liberties and privileges granted by this Lease
    4. To bring into or across the Lease Area by underground means only Mine & Processing
    Residues in accordance with any necessary permissions or approvals and to leave
    permanently within the Lease Area following the expiry of this Lease such Mine &
    Processing Residues within any voids created in connection with the operation of the
    Mine
    5. To bring into or across the Lease Area by underground means only Foreign Minerals
    whether for the purposes of transporting the same across the Lease Area or for
    temporarily or permanently storing settling processing or stacking the same within
    any voids created in connection with the operation of the Mine
    6. To use any void spaces created within the Lease Area in connection with the operation
    of the Mine for infilling, backfilling, storage, disposal or such other purposes as the
    Tenant shall reasonably require in the ordinary course of operating the Project for the
    purpose of producing a Sale Product

    So whilst your mate and his Sirius colleagues may feel local concerns about waste disposal are unfounded I believe the above is justification enough. That said there is more profit in Toxic waste disposal than Pot Ash and the proposed site will create the most ideal conditions for the disposal of toxic waste – it is to be a ‘dry mine’ as opposed to Boulby being a ‘wet mine’ (presumably being on the coast). (Hence my sarccy comment regarding the mine shaft being at the OAT. This would also exclude it from being a ‘dry mine’ and therefore no waste disposal business.

    As for Peter McLennan’s response; “We will not be dignifying this rumour with a public statement.” that just goes to show how bad an attitude Sirius have.

    Reply
  25. vanda inman  January 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Further: 5.6.3 At all times hereafter to keep the Landlord fully indemnified against all actions
    proceedings costs charges demands penalties fines legal or professional fees and
    liability whatsoever incurred suffered or sustained by the Landlord or asserted against
    the Landlord arising out of any of the following caused by or attributable to any act or
    omission of the Tenant:
    (a) Any failure to comply with all Environmental Law
    (b) Any discharge release leaching emission or escape into the Environment of
    any Hazardous Substances after the date of this Lease
    (c) Any contamination of the Lease Area or the Demised Minerals with any
    Hazardous Substances after the date of this Lease
    (d) Any failure to obtain all Environmental Licences necessary for the purpose of
    carrying out its operations at the Lease Area
    (e) Any failure to store handle treat process deposit transport document and
    dispose of waste or Hazardous Substances in accordance with Environmental
    Law and
    (f) All Remedial Action resulting from any of the matters referred to in this
    Clause 5.6.3

    If Sirius want to allay fears of disposal within the void space then they should answer the following question; “What do you intend to do with the void space?”

    Reply
    • Fil Opastry  January 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Doesn’t this answer your question?? From JO’s earlier post: “We do not own the voids once created and none of our local mineral rights agreements give us the right to store any form of waste in the mine, other than that associated with producing potash.”

      Reply
      • Tim Thorne  January 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

        “Doesn’t this answer your question?”

        The lease agreement is quite clear in that the landlord (mostly local Farmers) will not own the void spaces in the mine under their land and the tenant (York Potash/Sirius) will. Have another read.

        Reply
  26. Richard Lewis  January 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

    “So whilst your mate and his Sirius colleagues may feel local concerns about waste disposal are unfounded I believe the above is justification enough”.

    Which bit precisely?? I haven’t seen the full document but unless the definition of The Project covers storage of hazardous waste there is nothing in the above with any relevance to the current scaremongering.
    R

    Reply
  27. secretsqu  January 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Having read the last few posts (Tim & Vanda) nowhere does it suggest the storage of hazardous waste, unless somebody can correct me.

    Yes Vanda, these voids would be ideal for storing losts of toxic or hazardous waste, but the same can be said for the salt mines in Cheshire. They have opted to store documents and these voids are believed to be the biggest underground document storage areas in Europe. Perhaps Sirius’s intention is to store documents also. That assumption carries just as much weight as yours does, except that Jon Owen has posted the Company’s denial of these toxic and hazardous waste rumours.

    “As for Peter McLennan’s response; “We will not be dignifying this rumour with a public statement.” that just goes to show how bad an attitude Sirius have.”

    They took the same stance when the Chairman of The Yorkshire Moors Association stated on their own website that Sirius had to change their plans for the mine due to the Mining Inspectorate’s concerns about the safety surrounding the winding gear.The Company never responded in that instance either but the quote was retracted after a spokesman from The Mining Inspectorate denied any such concerns.

    It would seem that some on here complain when the Company don’t comment on outlandish claims, yet still persist with their own assumptions when the Company deny them.

    Little wonder the Company have stepped back from getting involved with such games.

    Reply
    • Tim Thorne  January 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      “Having read the last few posts (Tim & Vanda) nowhere does it suggest the storage of hazardous waste, unless somebody can correct me.”

      “Compensation Fund” a fund to be set up and financed by the Tenant pursuant to Clause 5.13 which is intended to survive the closure of the Mine to meet the costs of claims by the Landlord in respect of damaging subsidence or damage or injury to person or property arising from or attributable to the extraction of the Demised Minerals and minerals from any other part of the Mine and the voids created thereby and the filling thereof pursuant to this Lease and other leases of minerals of the same kind as the Demised Minerals granted to the Tenant, which claims have been agreed by the Tenant, determined by an arbitrator in accordance with Clause 7.5 or upheld by a court of law

      “Environmental Law” all and any laws statutes directives regulations notices standards having force of law codes of practice guidance notes by-laws judgements decrees or orders whether of the European Union or the United Kingdom or any other relevant jurisdiction relating to pollution contamination or protection of the Environment or to the storage labelling handling release treatment manufacture processing deposit transportation or disposal of Hazardous Substances

      2. Demise

      In consideration of the Rent or the Royalty reserved and the covenants on the part of the Tenant contained in this Lease the Landlord so far as it lawfully can or may HEREBY DEMISES unto the Tenant all the Demised Minerals TOGETHER WITH the Rights and any void spaces in the Lease Area created in connection with the working of the Demised Minerals EXCEPTING AND RESERVING to the Landlord the Reserved Rights TO HOLD the Demised Minerals and Rights to the Tenant for the Term determinable as mentioned below SUBJECT TO all rights easements privileges restrictions covenants and stipulations of whatever nature affecting the Lease Area the Demised Minerals and the Rights YIELDING AND PAYING therefor during the Term the Rent or Royalty

      5.6.3 At all times hereafter to keep the Landlord fully indemnified against all actions proceedings costs charges demands penalties fines legal or professional fees and liability whatsoever incurred suffered or sustained by the Landlord or asserted against the Landlord arising out of any of the following caused by or attributable to any act or omission of the Tenant:

      (a) Any failure to comply with all Environmental Law

      (b) Any discharge release leaching emission or escape into the Environment of any Hazardous Substances after the date of this Lease

      (c) Any contamination of the Lease Area or the Demised Minerals with any Hazardous Substances after the date of this Lease

      (d) Any failure to obtain all Environmental Licences necessary for the purpose of carrying out its operations at the Lease Area

      (e) Any failure to store handle treat process deposit transport document and dispose of waste or Hazardous Substances in accordance with Environmental Law and

      (f) All Remedial Action resulting from any of the matters referred to in this Clause 5.6.3

      6.1 That the Tenant paying the Rent and the Royalty reserved by this Lease and performing and observing the above covenants and conditions shall peaceably hold and enjoy the Demised Minerals the Rights and any void spaces created in connection with the working of the Demised Minerals without any interruption by the Landlord or any person lawfully claiming through or under or in trust for the Landlord

      Schedule 1

      4. To bring into or across the Lease Area by underground means only Mine & Processing Residues in accordance with any necessary permissions or approvals and to leave permanently within the Lease Area following the expiry of this Lease such Mine & Processing Residues within any voids created in connection with the operation of the Mine

      5. To bring into or across the Lease Area by underground means only Foreign Minerals whether for the purposes of transporting the same across the Lease Area or for temporarily or permanently storing settling processing or stacking the same within any voids created in connection with the operation of the Mine

      6. To use any void spaces created within the Lease Area in connection with the operation of the Mine for infilling, backfilling, storage, disposal or such other purposes as the Tenant shall reasonably require in the ordinary course of operating the Project for the purpose of producing a Sale Product

      Reply
  28. Phil  January 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Well said secretsq!

    There’s no wonder the company doesn’t engage in defending itself every time somebody dreams up a new rumour and turns it into a fact.

    In this instance somebody has converted the word hazardous to toxic which is two entirely different things. From the Environment Agency website …

    Some types of waste are harmful to human health, or to the environment, either immediately or over an extended period of time. These are called hazardous wastes.
    Wastes will fall into one of three categories, those that are:
    Always hazardous
    for example, lead acid batteries or fluorescent tubes.
    Never hazardous
    for example edible oil
    May, or may not, be hazardous and need to be assessed
    for example, ink or paint

    So somebody has created a whole lot of fuss about the types of waste above being stored 1500 meters under ground! It’s a non issue!

    Reply
  29. secretsqu  January 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Tim, you don’t seem to understand the above clauses.

    All manner of hazardous substances will be used in the mine.

    These will include, but not exclusive to;

    1. Deisel(to power machinery, compressors etc.)
    2. Oils (transmission, lubrication etc.)
    3. Glycol(heat transfer fluid)
    4. Nitrogen (cooling and purging agent)
    5. Cleaning fluids (speak for themselves)

    The above clauses that you keep copy and pasting state nowhere that these clauses relate to the dumping/storing of hazardous waste. They refer to the safeguards employed to prevent spillages and leakage of materials and substances used in the everday operation of plant and machinery.

    If you ever look at hazard/risk assesments for even the simplest industrial jobs, you will see mention and guidelines of the control and disposal of hazardous/toxic subtance.

    Try re-reading your clause 6 in particular.

    Reply
    • Tim Thorne  January 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      “The above clauses that you keep copy and pasting state nowhere that these clauses relate to the dumping/storing of hazardous waste.”

      The contract specifically states ‘effective commercial disposal’. Commercial disposal is something you get paid for, a service, you are a service provider, you provide a service.

      The contract also states ‘additional binding or cementing additive’ which are typically hazardous incinerator residues.

      York Potash / Sirius will not be buying the hazardous incinerator residues to put into the void spaces. Firms will be paying York Potash / Sirius a lot of money to store their hazardous waste in the mine void spaces.

      Ergo, there will be hazardous waste being transported to the mine and the only way to get to the mine will be via the residential streets of Whitby and Scarborough.

      Reply
  30. vanda inman  January 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    “The Authority has entered into a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) with York ….” York Potash and NYMNPA have agreed this document should now be made public but have requested that it is first published on the NYMNPA website on Monday. The main point of interest is perhaps the timetable/schedule. Have a lovely weekend.

    Reply
  31. secretsqu  January 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    The contract also states ‘additional binding or cementing additive’ which are typically hazardous incinerator residues.

    York Potash / Sirius will not be buying the hazardous incinerator residues to put into the void spaces. Firms will be paying York Potash / Sirius a lot of money to store their hazardous waste in the mine void spaces.

    Ergo, there will be hazardous waste being transported to the mine and the only way to get to the mine will be via the residential streets of Whitby and Scarborough.
    —————-
    Another assumption I see.

    Cement additives and binding agents do not have to be hazardous substances. You can even buy these non-hazardous substances from your local building suppliers, Wickes etc.

    So no evidence of them opting to use hazardous vs non-hazardous materials in the mine then.

    Do carry on though.

    Reply
  32. secretsqu  January 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Carry on in denial. The more that you go down this blind road, the more you miss the opportunity for a real and proper objection to this project based on fact. So far you are left wanting.

    Please do carry on!!!!

    Reply
    • Tim Thorne  January 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      “So far you are left wanting.”

      You couldn’t even explain what the term ‘commercial disposal’ means. Everyone who read the lease agreement knows the detail contradicts most of the recent York Potash / Sirius statement. We know that York Potash / Sirius will own the rights to the void spaces. We know they plan on using those spaces for commerical disposal. We know they plan on shipping in hazardous material and sticking them in the void spaces. If you want prove otherwise using the lease I suggest you get cracking.

      Reply
      • Fil Opastry  January 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm

        You don’t KNOW any of that until the company has explicitly stated that they are their intentions in an RNS; no doubt it would be easier for them to finance the project if there was a secondary income so I imagine it would have been publicised by now if that was the case. I highly doubt that they will have lied about the ownership of void spaces in the email last week, they will have known that the information in the email would have been published on iii in the discussion boards, and on local sites such as this.

        Maybe it’s time for you to stop starting BS conspiracy theories in an attempt to bring down what WILL be the best thing to happen to the area since the Victorian age. The silent (non real Whitby using) majority of the locals are very much in favour of this project. It is going to bring huge amounts of wealth to the area, and will prevent a mass exodus of those with half a brain! Until the economy in the local area is turned around kids are going to continue having their own kids well before they are 20, working in cash converters and poundland 16 hours a week if they are lucky, and becoming grandparents at 35. A project like this has the potential to turn the area around and give those from poorer backgrounds half a chance at survival in the real world.

        Reply
        • Tim Thorne  January 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm

          “I highly doubt that they will have lied about the ownership of void spaces in the email last week”

          I take it you didn’t read the lease?

          “That the Tenant paying the Rent and the Royalty reserved by this Lease and performing and observing the above covenants and conditions shall peaceably hold and enjoy the Demised Minerals the Rights and any void spaces created in connection with the working of the Demised Minerals without any interruption by the Landlord or any person lawfully claiming through or under or in trust for the Landlord”

          This says the landlord doesn’t own the void spaces, the tenant does. The quoted text is quite explicit. What does the quoted text say to you?

          Reply
  33. DKP  January 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I’m now hearing that quite a few of the local Sirius fans dumped their stock on Friday. Is that right, Secretsqu? No doubt a few more will keep talking the talk as they secretly follow suit.

    “Quit will you’re ahead” was never a bad motto.

    Reply
    • Fil Opastry  January 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Not true. Locals know that the project will go ahead, and as such many are planning to sell their shares when production starts, some when it ramps, and others will be holding them for the very long term in an aim to see dividend return. No locals with a bit of sense and money behind them will bother selling at the relatively measly high we had last week!

      Reply
  34. AnarchyUK  January 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Fil’o – You sound like one of the local champagne socialists. Should you ever climb down from your Landlord and shareholder pedestal you may find that those from “poorer backgrounds” deserve a better understanding of local economics. Instead they get your migrant blinkered ideology on how ‘others’ should strive to live. Never mind, a great big shiny Pot Ash mine may hide all those miserable ‘poorer’ people from your tinted view.

    Reply
  35. Moors Man  January 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Its a pity that such an important topic is being hijacked by personal comments and rivalries.
    Best to keep to an informed debate?

    Reply
  36. secretsqu  January 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    “I’m now hearing that quite a few of the local Sirius fans dumped their stock on Friday. Is that right, Secretsqu? No doubt a few more will keep talking the talk as they secretly follow suit.”

    Had you read the full thread, you will have realised the sarcasm in my post.

    Reply
  37. secretsqu  January 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    People talk about the lack of jobs going to locals, mainly without checking how many out of the circa 50 full time (on the books)people currenly employed by York Potash.

    I’m very impressed with the entrepeneurship by this local.

    http://www.yorkpotash.com/in-the-community/www.yorkpotash.co.uk-in-the-community-project-artist/

    Well done Sir!

    Reply
    • Vanda Inman  January 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      “I’m very impressed with the entrepeneurship by this local.” – he bought a house so he could watch it fall into the sea! LMAO – is that a subtle clue SQ?!
      SQ you are local aren’t you?

      Reply
    • Moors Man  January 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

      No doubt a talented painter but disturbing behaviour indeed.
      Anyway what’s that got to do with this thread?

      Reply
  38. Vanda Inman  January 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Yes, good idea; as Kane says “I am interested in interventions, opportunities to explore the destruction of buildings, bridges, decommissioned trawlers, ships, airplanes, skyscapers, expensive sports cars,luxury cars and the destruction of our urban and natural landscape to create artworks any where in the UK and across the world.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFBlTwV2Mak

    Anyhow SQ’s I reckoned the PA would go in end of March from the PPA scedule, but the gal at NYMNPA is expecting it end of January. Time will tell.

    Reply
  39. secretsqu  January 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    The PA was originally expected to be submitted by the end of last year. This was delayed as the NYMNPA wanted additional information to be included in the PA. This as I recall was ecological information and why the minehead had to be sited in the National Park.

    The Company (through the Whitby Gazette) has suggested that it will be submitted by the end of this month.

    Reply
  40. secretsqu  January 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    By the Chairman of the YCMA:
    http://www.yorkpotash.co.uk/site/assets/files/1488/j_cook_letter_to_whitby_gazette.pdf

    Dear Sir

    As a local farmer and mineral rights holder, I was acutely aware of the potential impact that a new
    mine could have in this beautiful part of North East Yorkshire. I thus thoroughly questioned York
    Potash before granting them an option on the minerals under our farm. I found that they were
    greatly aware that the project must be carried out in such a way as to preserve the beauty and
    integrity of the North York Moors National Park.

    Their actions to date bear this out. The test drilling sites have been carefully restored and the seismic testing was done with due care for all concerned. The proposed mine head will be underground. The mined material will be moved out of the National Park for processing via a pipe line, thus minimizing traffic on the local roads.

    Mr Chadwick, in his recent letter, wrote that York Potash were ‘obfuscating’. My view is the
    opposite. York Potash are being very open and are sharing, at an early stage, the various options that they are contemplating.

    Mr Chadwick is right in saying that Sirius Minerals, the parent company of York Potash, are still a small company. However, they do appear to realise that, if they are to grow, then they must work with, and not against, the people and landscape of our National Park. If this project was being run by a large multi-national mining company, we may well have found that they wanted to do things their own way, with far less respect for the people and landscape.

    The local mineral rights holders have come together to form the ‘Yorkshire Coast Minerals
    Association’. We shall be working to ensure that the project has the minimum effect on the local
    landscape, but the maximum effect on the local economy.

    The economy and jobs of this area of North East Yorkshire have traditionally been supported by the
    three pillars of tourism, agriculture and fishing. How fantastic to be able to add a fourth pillar in the form of the York Potash Project.

    Yours faithfully

    J S W COOK
    Harwood Dale

    Reply
  41. Vanda Inman  January 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    “has the minimum effect on the local
    landscape” – conjecture! You could just as easily say that after a 50 m deep hole has been dug under his farm he will certainly feel the full benefits.

    That is the problem – the whole project is conjecture! This is a National Park. Not a testing ground for Sirius to play with their NUT’s.
    (New Unproven Techniques)

    Fortunately this National Park has many custodians.

    Reply
  42. Vanda Inman  January 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Come on, Vanda…After all you are the Secretary of the Scarborough & Whitby constituency Labour Party, are you not ?
    Or is there something embarrassing on the page which Chem is seeking ?

    woolybac

    Arw Cheers Woolybac! No they are trying to push me out of the Labour Party, partly because of my Pot Ash stance, firstly because I objected venomously because of the LP voting for I’pads, and mostly because they fail to oppose anything (they are the opposition party afterall). Oh yeah, forgot the Corruption in our Council bit, they don’t like that either, and of course the selling off of our Town Hall, (and Futurist) and of course Whitby LP has its own issues with its leading light, and to top it all the fact that I refuse to be censored. But don’t you worry, I’ll be back! xx

    Reply
  43. Vanda Inman  January 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    http://www.labour4scarboroughandwhitby.net/?p=347

    The Whitby Branch Report has a softer stance than the Scarborough Branch ‘position’. Perhaps its more of a “prospective approach”.

    How can you have a political party that is ‘Top Secret’! lol.

    Contact the new LP Secretary if you want to see the report; secretary@labour4scarboroughandwhitby.net

    Reply
  44. Vanda Inman  January 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Whilst waiting for the Planning App to be submitted to the NYMNPA, something to read from Redcar & Cleveland:

    https://planning.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/%28S%280xrswcxci4zfmwt5y0v4fd20%29%29/plaRecord.aspx?AppNo=R/2012/0800/NID

    A ventilation shaft at Harwood Dale probably explains all the trampling around that area. SM5 looked a bit too close to a Cllrs property.

    Reply
  45. secretsqu  January 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Published on Thursday 24 January 2013 09:05

    THE new leader of Ryedale District Council has pledged to capitalise on a wave of new multi-billion pound industry to bolster critically low wages which are threatening to undermine rural communities.

    The need to boost job opportunities and diversify the economic foundations of the district have been pinpointed as among the most pressing issues by Cllr Linda Cowling.

    Efforts are already underway to increase wages in Ryedale which average less than £16,500-a-year – the lowest in the region and below the national average. But Cllr Cowling, of Pickering, said that the need is even more pressing with an affordable housing crisis leaving many residents unable to afford properties in the communities where their families have lived for generations.

    The latest data from the National Housing Federation has shown that the average house price in the Ryedale district is £223,080, while the average wage is just £16,442.

    Cllr Cowling stressed that while it is vital to preserve traditional industries such as farming and tourism, there is a growing need to diversify the economic base to take advantage of new enterprise in North Yorkshire.

    The county is facing a massive transition amid plans for a £1.7bn potash mine along with the arrival of off-shore wind farm industry. The largest off-shore wind farm in the world is due to be built off the Yorkshire coast at Dogger Bank, while the potash mine is proposed for a site on farmland to the south of Whitby in the North York Moors National Park.

    Cllr Cowling said: “We need to provide new opportunities for people in Ryedale. Jobs in tourism and farming are traditionally low paid, and this has had an impact on the ability of people to buy homes.

    “The economy is obviously not in a good way, but it is an exciting time with the arrival of new industries, such as the potash mine and off-shore wind farms. We will be holding discussions with training providers to ensure we have a workforce with the necessary skills to take advantage of these opportunities.”

    The majority of a £439,000 windfall secured under the Government’s New Homes Bonus scheme has been earmarked for boosting job opportunities across Ryedale, which has a population of just under 54,000 living across 575 sq miles.

    But Cllr Cowling admitted the authority is facing up to intense challenges amid the Government’s austerity drive. The authority is faced with a seven per cent reduction in its grant from the Government in the new financial year on its current revenue budget of £6.9m.

    She said: “It is not ideal that we are having to make significant savings at a time when we need to drive forward the economy. But all local authorities are in the same position. We need to take any opportunities now to make sure we are prepared for the future.”

    An economic action plan had been drawn up to build on the engineering sector, which has already become a key part of the local economy and is reporting growth.

    A list of priorities was drawn up including promoting the racing and shooting industry and reviving the aspiration for a technology park in the Malton area after a wide-ranging consultation gleaned the views of leading business organisations and the public.

    Cllr Cowling was appointed to oversee the authority at a full council meeting earlier this month and has also been named leader of the Conservative Group on Ryedale District Council.

    She won election to Ryedale District Council 22 years ago, saying her decision to stand was in reaction to disagreements over several of the authority’s planning decisions in the Pickering area.

    The mother-of-two, who co-owns The Tea Shop in Pickering, is “Conservative born and bred” and came to the authority when the party only had “two to three” members on the council.

    Today it has the majority.

    Her predecessor in both roles as leader, Cllr Keith Knaggs, announced last month that he was stepping down after 17 years at the authority’s helm.

    He is continuing as a backbench member, but admitted his long-running tenure had been brought to an end as a result of “clashes of personality rather than major policy differences.”

    http://www.maltonmercury.co.uk/news/local/new-leader-pledges-to-focus-on-economy-1-5344385

    Reply
    • Tim Thorne  January 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      “The county is facing a massive transition amid plans for a £1.7bn potash mine along with the arrival of off-shore wind farm industry.”

      The wind farm jobs will be at Hull or Middlesbrough. There is no chance of any large-scale developments that will utilise the harbour facilities at either Scarborough or Whitby as both harbours don’t have the space or facilities for such a development unless some ambitious engineering takes place.

      Politicians keep on droning on and on about the windfarm industry, but I’d reckon we’d generate more electricity from the rubbish they’ve been spewing about windfarms for the last year or so. Pie in the sky stuff really.

      Reply
  46. Jon Owen  January 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Hi.

    Details of the submitted mine planning application will be available for viewing at parish council offices within the park as of the 4 of Feb.

    There will then be a maximum of 16 weeks for the NYMNPA to make a decision.

    Jon.

    Reply
  47. Vanda Inman  January 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    http://planning.northyorkmoors.org.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/Generic

    Registered 28th Jan 2013;
    ‘Proposal: permission for temporary exploratory potash borehole down line of potential future mine shaft and associated plant, equipment including drilling rig (max height 33 metres) and access arrangements’

    Even the ‘application’ for the mineshaft is well hidden

    Reply
  48. Stakesby Legs  January 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Now what to do? Sell at 30 the man said. Will they ever get to 30?

    http://www.shareprice.co.uk/SXX/SIRIUS-MINERALS-ORD-025P

    Reply
    • Chris the Milkman  February 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Who said sell at 30p? I will be selling at £4 upwards once 2nd phase of production is in action. Hello retirement fund!

      Reply
  49. Vanda Inman  January 31, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Plans to look for a site for a £12bn underground nuclear waste store in Cumbria have been rejected.

    Ed Davey, Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, said:”We remain firmly committed to geological disposal as the right policy for the long-term, safe and secure management of radioactive waste.”

    Reply
  50. secretsqu  January 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    That’s good news for Cumbria and just as well that Sirius have no plans for such a contentious project.

    Reply
  51. Stakesby Legs  January 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    …that they’re letting on about….

    Reply
  52. secretsqu  February 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Really nice to see that The Whitby Labour Party are also in support of the mine too…

    “Potash Jobs Yes- But Not At Any Price” Says Whitby Labour Party

    News > Local News
    1:38pm 1st February 2013.

    “Jobs Yes – but not at any price” said Diana Jeuda, co-ordinator of Whitby Labour Party’s three month investigation into York Potash’s proposal to mine for potash at Dove’s Nest, three miles south of Whitby. The Whitby Labour Party branch, backed by Scarborough and Whitby Constituency Labour Party, says it supports the proposed mine, but with a number of provisos.

    They say their provisos are:

    * There must be expert scrutiny by the planning bodies of all the assurances given by York Potash. They must be completely sure that the process will be as safe as York Potash claim and that the restoration of the Moors will be as quick and as complete as is claimed.
    * In addition, the Labour Party has asked for extra work to be done to minimise noise and light pollution, to provide assurances that voids created by the mine will never be used to store hazardous waste, including nuclear waste, and that even greater efforts are made to speed up the restoration of the moorland, following the pipeline construction.

    The Labour Party has already submitted its report to York Potash and says it will be using it as the basis for submission to the two planning bodies.

    Diana Jeuda adds “We are also planning to meet and brief Hilary Benn MP, the Shadow Communities Secretary whose job is to shadow Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP, the cabinet minister who will have the final say in any planning decision”.

    She concludes ”Our job doesn’t end when we make our submission to the planning bodies. If York Potash gets planning permission, we will be watching the construction and the operation of the mine every step of the way. This development is in such a sensitive part of the Moors, that every condition of any planning permission must be followed to the letter. We are on the case. And we will stay on the case!”

    http://www.yorkshirecoastradio.com/news/local-news/883775/potash-jobs-yes–but-not-at-any-price-says-whitby-labour-party/

    Reply
  53. secretsqu  February 2, 2013 at 11:21 am

    A letter from Scarborough & Whitby Labour Party to York Potash…

    http://www.labour4scarboroughandwhitby.net/?p=438

    Letter to York Potash
    Posted on 01/02/2013 by admin
    Letter to York Potash

    Dear Sirs,

    I am attaching a response on behalf of Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party. You have already seen an earlier version as it formed the basis of the useful discussion that we had with you at the beginning of December. We would like you to take this attachment and this note as our response to your consultation.
    Our response
    Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party are pleased to support the proposed mine provided that there are the safeguards that we discuss in the attached paper.
    We have reached this view by considering the employment effect and the added value to the local economy.
    The mine brings a full range of jobs, from unskilled to professional , to our area, which is over-dependent on the service sector, is low paid, and where work is relatively unskilled, seasonal and often temporary, and where there are more than 1500 people currently out of work.
    • We note that you believe that there may be as many as 1500 semi-skilled and unskilled jobs involved in the construction of the mine and the pipeline. We note too that you intend that these jobs should be filled by local people.
    • We note that the pipeline construction jobs will be for around 15 months and the mine construction jobs for 3+ years
    • While the professional and technical posts are likely to be filled initially by specialists who may not live in the area, we note that you hope that 80% of the rest of the jobs will be filled by local people.
    • We also recognise there are other benefits. The mine (through its Foundation) has the capacity to make a contribution towards improving the social fabric of this impoverished area of North Yorkshire and Cleveland.
    Against this, the National Park and its unique environment is a priceless asset, and for around six years there will be a significant but temporary scar on the landscape. In pockets of woodland and hedgerows, the scar will take longer to heal though you tell us that full recovery will eventually take place.
    In considering how to balance this choice, the Moors’ own history is instructive. Ironstone, alum, lead and other mining operations took place within what is now the National Park, with an impact that we can still see. The ironstone railway embankment that stands above Rosedale is an example of an industrial artefact that has been absorbed into the landscape, even though it is an alien construction. What is proposed will leave by comparison a much smaller footprint.
    Labour Party members are no different from any other local residents in loving the Moors and feeling great anxiety about how the pipeline will affect it. Yet it is difficult to see how it is possible to stand in the way of jobs, both immediate and long term, because of concerns about temporary damage to the Moors.
    The cuts programme hits the poorest disproportionately hard and many of those worst hit live here in Whitby and Scarborough as well as on Teesside. So while we must value and cherish the Moors, so must we also value and cherish the people who live and work here.
    For this reason we give general support to your proposal.
    However, we give support on the grounds of the documentation that you have submitted and your assertion that your proposals are both practical and safe. We are not in a position to make a judgement about this. You will note that our response asks the National Park and the Environmental Planning Inspectorate to consider and evaluate these proposals to ensure that your proposals can indeed be delivered in the way that you suggest.
    In addition, there are areas where we have further suggestions which we would like you to consider before you put in your two planning applications. These are dealt with as follows
    • Paragraphs AD dealing with noise
    • paragraphs AE dealing with light pollution
    • Paragraph BD dealing with Hazardous Waste
    • Paragraphs CC dealing with Visual impact
    • Paragraphs DB dealing with Industrial relations and the living wage
    In conclusion, the Labour Party has been impressed with the high standard of documentation and the professional way in which you have carried out your consultation. We look forward to working with you in the future.
    Yours sincerely,
    Diana Jeuda,
    Secretary, Whitby Labour Party potash group.

    Reply
  54. secretsqu  February 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Enclosed, the Scarborough & Whitby Labour Party formal response to the project. (5,000 words)

    Pleasing to see the requests to confirm and ensure that the majority of concerns that have been raised by various contributors to The Real Whitby will be taken into account…

    http://labour4scarboroughandwhitby.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/RESPONSE-TO-THE-YORK-POTASH-MINING-PROPOSAL.pdf

    Reply
  55. Vanda Inman  February 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Squirell, As 50% of the Whitby Labour Party Officers are now Landlords that have sold their Mineral Rights I hardly think the ‘report’ or ‘letter’ is unbiased. Other than pontificate over the ‘deprived’ in Whitby I am not actually sure what the Whitby Labour Party do? It seems to be run by a handful of Middle Class intellectuals and champagne socialists. Of course Diana Jeuda et al are entitled to their opinions, just as ordinary folk are. But I do have to say that when Diana Jeuda is ‘on the case’ she is a force to be reckoned with. So don’t get too comfy.

    Reply
  56. secretsqu  February 3, 2013 at 9:28 am

    “Squirell, As 50% of the Whitby Labour Party Officers are now Landlords that have sold their Mineral Rights I hardly think the ‘report’ or ‘letter’ is unbiased.”

    Vanda, I’m not sure about the 50% figure, is this a best-guesstimate of yours? I would have thought that councillors that attended meetings to discuss this project would have to declare their interest as landlords and therefore have no say in the matter. Have I got that right or am I being naive?

    Good to hear that Diana Jeuda is a forceful character as she will undoubtedly ensure that YP get this right to the benefit of Whitby across a whole number of factors.

    Reply
    • Vanda Inman  February 3, 2013 at 10:58 am

      How many Labour Councillors are there in Whitby? Two on the Parish. Have you had Whitby Towns Parish report yet?

      Reply
  57. Vanda Inman  February 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Ha Squirell, you have pre-empted my next article (blog) looking at all the people involved in the decision making process including a published list of the Landlords and Mineral Rights holders. Just for the future generations when they look back and ask – how did it all go so wrong? Speculation of course is not only a commodity of the wealthy.

    Reply
  58. Vanda Inman  February 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Squirell, perhaps you could publish the list of Landlords and Mineral Rights holders first , they must be very pleased with themselves.

    Reply
  59. secretsqu  February 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I wish I had that info

    Reply
  60. secretsqu  February 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    “Have you had Whitby Towns Parish report yet?”

    Is there a separate report just from Whitby?

    Reply
  61. admin  February 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    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

    Reply
  62. Chris the Milkman  February 6, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Re Dr Cunion’s response to the Grauniad article.

    “Unnecessary”

    Since when was having a world shortage of something the only reason to tap into the Earth’s mineral reserves? Potash may not be dwindling in supply, but then Earth’s population isn’t dwindling in growth either.
    If York Potash can mine polyhalite (far enriched in potassium compared to Boulby’s product” and process it to fertiliser at a competitive cost, we have a winner. It can only be a good thing for Indo-China-rica to have another supplier of the product their billions of people require, even if it is just to drive down their import costs compared to the cartelesque situation with Saskatchewan and others.

    If there really is no need for a polyhalite mine then time will tell. Once the SM11 results are out in the public domain Sirius should be able to move their resource to ‘Indicated’ enabling them to gain the attention of large financiers. Big investors will not invest if they see the project as likely to be surplus to the needs of those in Asia and Africa.

    “Speculative”
    All business models are speculative to begin with, that is the whole point of the two years+ of research, mineral measurement, and in depth study – to turn that speculation into indication that the mine can help form a strong, competitive, and long lasting business model.

    “Designed purely for private profit”
    Yes, like any successful business.
    Except for the 0.5% revenue donated to the YP Foundation which will be directly invested into surrounding community projects
    Except for the 5 (to begin with, more in the future) geology and engineering students each year which will be funded with bursaries, given internships over summer, and graduate jobs after 3 years; preventing a loss of talented students to other areas of the country, nay other countries!
    Except for the many *millions* of £ that the mine will contribute to income tax over the following 100 years. Over 1000 staff (not to mention supply chain) at large salaries does a lot of tax make.
    Except for the capital gains tax and stamp duty which shareholders will have to pay when many of the locals (who own 9% of the PLC) sell their stake a few years into production.

    “Effects can ONLY be destructive”
    Ignorance is not becoming of you. Yes there will be temporary disruption whilst constructing the mine head and drilling the shafts. Having worked briefly on a drill rig, I am aware that they make a lot of noise – but only in the immediate vicinity. If you decide to take a picnic within 100m of the mine head during construction then maybe take that into account. As for light pollution, have you ever driven towards Scarborough at night? Scarborough Rugby Club’s floodlit first and second pitches (which are lit most nights of the week to allow for training) will be just as “polluting” as the lamps required on site at Dove’s Nest during construction.

    “Radical alteration of soils”
    This demonstrates your basic knowledge of geology, which is fine. The only soil to be affected will be that immediately underneath the drill rig platform, the processing buildings and offices, and that which follows the pipeline. Radical is a strong word. Saying that alteration of the soil is an excuse not to build the mine head is like refusing someone a housing extension so they don’t damage the loam beneath it.
    The mine will be far too deep, and the stratigraphy likely too impermeable for any groundwater run off to occur and affect other soils in the area.
    As to radical alteration of the landscape…. You only need to look at the planning documents to see how sympathetic the deign will be. A small plot of land will be directly affected by the mine head, much akin to a farmer building a second cow shed and out buildings.

    “Energy used during construction”
    No more than building a wind farm, or several hospitals perhaps. Why should short term production of CO2 stop thousands being employed in the future when it will create little at all?
    Who knows, maybe due to the impermeable nature of the surrounding stratigraphy to the seam, it could be used for carbon capture and storage; completely negating your concerns.

    The unemployment rate IN THE NATIONAL PARK is under 2% as not many people live IN THE NATIONAL PARK. Those that are unemployed live in the surrounding towns.

    Reply
  63. vanda inman  February 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

    share price falling: what no Project Manager?

    http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail?code=cotn:SXX.L&display=news&it=le

    Reply
  64. Nigel Ward  February 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    http://markets.ft.com/Research/Markets/Tearsheets/Summary?s=SXX:LSE

    On the back of last night’s disclosures?

    Reply
  65. Vanda Inman  February 15, 2013 at 9:56 am

    lol: Chris Fraser has a namesake: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21450740

    Reply
  66. Vanda Inman  February 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

    It is still looking like a ‘done deal’: SBC Cabinet meeting – Forward Plan:
    Item 15.

    Potash Mining in the Borough

    View the reasons why item 15. is restricted

    To consider a report by the Chief Executive and Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 12/551 attached).

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Executive and Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 12/551) in respect of the proposed potash mine in the Borough.

    RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

    i) confirm its general support for Potash Mining between Whitby and Scarborough;

    ii) approve York Potash as a Special Purchaser; and

    iii) authorise the Council to enter into an Option Agreement and Mining Lease with York Potash in respect of its rural land holdings within the target area on terms to be authorised by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

    Reasons

    To demonstrate its support for the project.
    To enable York Potash to make progress with the project.
    To satisfy the statutory position in respect of s123 Local Government Act 1973.

    Reply

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