York & North Yorkshire

Sirius propose North Yorks pipeline to transport potash

Artist's impression of mine buildings site
Image caption Transporting the ore underground would reduce disruption to local communities the company claims

A 27 mile (43km) pipeline could be constructed to transport potash ore from North Yorkshire to Teesside.

The pipeline is part of plans by Sirius Minerals to extract the ore, used in fertilizers, from beneath the North York Moors National Park.

The company said the pipeline was the most environmentally acceptable solution for moving the ore.

Planning applications for the pipeline and the mine at Sneaton, near Whitby, are expected by the end of the year.

Sirius Minerals claims some of the world's best deposits of potash, a potassium compound, lie beneath the North York Moors National Park.

The company has identified a site for the mine 3 miles (4.8km) south of Whitby on the B1416.

'Efficient solution'

Sirius proposes to process the ore at a site at Wilton, near Middlesbrough, and plans to transport it via a steel pipeline buried a minimum of 3ft 11in (1.2 m) below ground.

Chris Fraser, the company's managing director, said: "We believe this is the best, most efficient and environmentally acceptable solution for moving the potash out of the National Park and without long term disruption to local communities.

"Importantly, it would mean that we do not have to move the mineral by road or rail which helps to further reduce any impact of the proposals."

Sirius said it was consulting with residents along the route.

A planning application for the mine will be submitted to the North York Moors National Park Authority by the end of the year, the company said.

A decision on whether the pipeline goes ahead will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate, the government agency responsible for examining planning applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects.

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