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York Potash mine "not unsafe", says Mines Inspectorate
THE Mines Inspectorate has refuted claims made by a campaigner against a potash mine which could be built on the North York Moors that designs were deemed “unsafe”.
A representative of the Mines Inspectorate, part of the Health and Safety Executive, has told The Northern Echo that none of its inspectors have ever voiced concerns over the safety of any of York Potash’s designs for a minehead shaft.
The news refutes claims made by Tom Chadwick, chairman of the North York Moors Association (NYMA), who had posted a statement on the NYMA’s website which read: “Problems have been identified centred around the provision for emergency winding gear and the inclined tunnels and this relates to early talks with the Mines Inspectorate.”
The statement’s reference to the Mines Inspectorate has since been removed from the NYMA’s website, along with the attribution of the statement to Mr Chadwick.
The news comes as York Potash, owned by international mining firm Sirius Minerals, continues to consult residents on their proposals to build a potash mine on the moors.
The mine, which uses a cuttingedge design to partially sink the mine head shaftframes into the ground, would be concealed in an agricultural-style building. If approved the development would see the firm use about 4.5 hectares on a 100-acre site at Dove Nest Farm and Hacksby Plantation, off the B1416, about 2.5 miles south of Whitby.
The plans include a 30-mile underground pipeline to transport the mined polyhalite, which is processed to make super-fertiliser potash, to a processing plant in Teesside .
The proposal could create 1,000 jobs directly and another 4,000 in the supply chain.
A spokesman for York Potash said: “This was a regrettable claim made without any reference to the facts, so it’s great that The Northern Echo has taken the time to get an accurate view from the Mines Inspectorate.
“We’re pleased that the statement has now been retracted and we look forward to consulting on our innovative designs that can bring so many benefits to the local area.
“Our previous offers to the North York Moors Association to meet, understand the facts and have a constructive input to the plans remain open.”