York & North Yorkshire

PM asked to help secure future of North Yorkshire mine

Woodsmith mine Image copyright Sirius Minerals

The prime minister has been asked to take action to secure the future of a huge potash mine in North Yorkshire.

Progress at the mine has stalled after the company behind the project cancelled plans to raise $500m (£403m) through a bond sale.

Scarborough Council's leader said in a letter to Boris Johnson he wanted him to put "his money where his mouth is".

Sirius Minerals has blamed "market conditions", including Brexit and lack of government support for the decision.

The company is to undergo a six-month review of four different options for a new financing plan to resume the project outside Whitby.

Its share price halved in reaction to the news.

Image copyright Sirius Minerals
Image caption Minerals would be transported underground to a processing plant on Teesside

Steve Siddons, the Labour leader of the council, said the letter invited the prime minister to a meeting with business and political leaders about the mine, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"Boris has spent much of the last couple of weeks touring the northern heartlands, recognising the devastation caused by years of austerity and lack of investment.

"It's time for him to put his money where his mouth is and ensure this project delivers on its promise to the people of North Yorkshire," Mr Siddons said.

A government spokesman said: "We cannot comment on commercially sensitive matters.

"When examining any request for financing, we have to assess the potential of a project against the need to protect taxpayers' money."

The project is set to be the world's largest mine for polyhalite, a naturally occurring fertiliser used in agriculture. The mine was due to open in 2021 and create more than 1,000 jobs.

The plans include a 23-mile (37km) tunnel to transport minerals to a processing plant near the former Redcar steelworks.

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites