North Yorkshire farmers are in line for a massive windfall thanks to valuable minerals discovered deep below the coastline, according to a report in the Guardian today.
Mining company - Sirius Minerals – have submitted a planning application to build a mine on a site near Whitby, within the North York Moors National Park, to extract what are thought to be the largest deposits of potash in the world.
The discovery of potash - a form of potassium containing salt and a powerful fertiliser - could transform this area of Yorkshire, bringing riches to farmers and a huge boost to the local economy.
If the planning application, which has a great deal of local support, is approved by North York Moors national park authority, it will lead to the construction of the biggest British mine in a generation and create over 1,000 jobs.
Sirius Minerals – owned by former investment banker, Chris Fraser – has also promised to pay out more than £1billion in royalty payments to landowners over 50 years.
The exact size of the payouts has not been disclosed but the Guardian reports that a complex royalty payment formula had been agreed after two years of negotiations between 400 landowners involving eight law firms.
According to the Yorkshire Post, geologists believe this is the world's biggest and best quality supply of the valuable mineral.
Fraser told the newspaper: "The York Potash Project will deliver an unrivalled level of investment for North Yorkshire, creating significant new jobs and improving local skills for generations to come.
"We have been extremely grateful for the wide-ranging support received during our extensive pre-application public consultations.
"A huge amount of technical work and studies have gone into the application and we believe that we have both put forward a robust planning case and set a new benchmark for sensitive design in the mining industry."
The deposits are not a new discovery – geologists have known about them for decades – but previous planning applications from global mining companies have fallen through, due the falling price of potash and the location of the minerals with a national park.
Now, according to the Guardian, the rising price of potash has made it possible to invest more money in making the mine unobtrusive to the environment.
According to the BBC, the planning application should be available for the public to view on the National Park Authority website next week.