Where there's muck there's brass: Valuable fertiliser potash discovered in national park as prospectors prepare for £1.1bn 'gold rush'
The discovery of a vital ingredient for fertiliser under the North York Moors has prompted a 'gold rush' as people race to invest in a company that plans to mine it.
A massive deposit of polyhalite - a mineral which contains potash, essential for fertiliser - has sparked thousands of people snapping up shares in the Sirius Minerals, which plans to mine the reserve.
In January the firm applied for planning permission to construct the pithead in the North York Moors National Park, a conservation area.
The potash mine has promised new jobs, but some locals fear the development will destroy the tranquility of the park
The firm maintains it is the only place it could be done, and would not be intrusive as barely any of the machinery will be seen, according to the Financial Times.
They say the shaft will be underground, and have chosen an area ion high ground with a forest plantation to shield it and not ruin the view.
The £1.1bn project is expected to create 1,000 jobs and there are 4,225 shareholders in Yorkshire and Teesside - which together own nine per cent of Sirius, according to the newspaper.
Since December thousands of shares have been bought by people eager to cash in on the mucky mine of th emineral.
The park's local HSBC bank has had customers regularly coming in to purchase shares in the Aim-listed company, such is the eagerness to profit from the discovery.
The project includes a 27-mile (43km) underground pipeline to transport the potash ore from North Yorkshire to Teesside.
The company said the pipeline was the most environmentally acceptable solution for moving the ore, as it will significantly cut the amount of traffic transporting the deposit.
The name stems from 'pot ash', the process used before the industrial revolution of soaking plant ashes in a pot to draw out potassium carbonate, that was left in a white ash.
Potash is the common term for fertiliser forms of the element potassium (K).
The mineral is the 7th most common element in the earth's crust and is an essential ingredient for fertiliser.
Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius Minerals, said the project would create 'significant new jobs' and improve local skills 'for generations to come'.
But some neighbours are dismayed at the plans, saying the mine will destroy the tranquility of the beautiful area, the BBC reported.
The moors are renowned for their stunning, peaceful character, and tourism jobs are vital for the area's economy.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278023/Where-theres-muck-theres-brass-Valuable-fertiliser-potash-discovered-national-park-prospectors-prepare-1-1bn-gold-rush.html#ixzz2KnMniJhU
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