Teesside businesses can now express their interest in being part of the supply chain for the £2 billion York Potash Project that will get underway next year.
The scheme, that will feature a 23-mile tunnel between the mine at Whitby and processing plant at Wilton, will create more than 2,000 local jobs, with up to 300 people directly employed on Teesside.
The world’s largest of its type, the mine will produce up to 20 million tonnes of polyhalite at full production.
In an exclusive Video Interview with Tees Business, Matt Parsons, general manager external affairs for the project’s owner, Sirius Minerals, told us: “We’re committed to using local suppliers, wherever it’s practical to do so.
“We’re also ensuring that our principle contractors are aware of those commitments, and in turn they will be expected to hold meet-the-buyer events and to source local suppliers where it’s possible to do so.
“Once they understand the market and the nature of the businesses that are in the area, I think they will want to use them.”
The mined mineral will be transported underground in a tunnel from a mine head at Whitby to a materials handling facility at Wilton, near Redcar.
Production will initially reach 10 million tonnes per year, a figure that will eventually double to make the massive project the world’s largest producing potash mine.
Sirius Minerals aim to have finance in place for the project during the first quarter of 2016, with construction planned to begin midway through the year.
Parsons added: “We’re forecasting that there’ll be at least a thousand people directly employed by us. That will include around 700 at the mine and around 250-300 at the Teesside site.
“We’re committed to employing at least 80% of the workforce from the local area, and as part of our Section 106 Agreement we’re committed to training more than 300 local people, including 50 apprentices, and putting young people through university.
“We’re entirely comfortable that we’ll be able to achieve those targets.”