Fertiliser mine wins permission to continue operations for another 25 years

ICL Boulby’s polyhalite mine has been given consent for another 25 years of operations on the edge of the North York Moors.

The North York Moors Park Authority Planning Committee has approved an application for the continuation of polyhalite and salt production for a further 25 years from 2023, which is when the current planning permission expires.

ICL Boulby vice president and general manager, Andrew Fulton, welcomed the decision, describing it as: “A major step forward in securing the future of our business and our ability to continue providing jobs and investment for East Cleveland and the wider Tees Valley Community for many years ahead.”

As part of the approval the company will undertake a programme to improve the visual aspects of the mine, including removing some building structures.

And it will support a range of other measures, including almost £9m worth of landscape enhancements along with a contribution of nearly £5m towards tourism activities.

Fulton added: “We’re grateful that the Park Authority’s balanced decision provides the long-term security which will enable us to both remain at the heart of the local community, and exploit our position as the world’s first and only producer of polyhalite, the organic fertiliser which is helping to meet the world’s food needs across the UK and five continents.

“The decision comes at a particularly important stage in our development plans.

“Having weathered the worst impacts of the pandemic – and remaining in operation throughout – we are now significantly enhancing production.

“October saw us achieve our highest hoist of over 90,000 tonnes and record our best ever monthly processed polyhalite production performance of over 80,000 tonnes.

“The last few years have been very challenging with the transition from decades of potash production to becoming the world leader in developing the potential of polyhalite.

“The positive decision of the Park Authority helps to put us on a firm footing for the future which is good news for our business, our workforce and our area.”