A major new potash mine in Yorkshire could bring greater competition to the domestic fertiliser market, aiding farmgate prices.
The project, which is the UK’s first new mine in 45 years, mines polyhalite used to make potash, a farm fertiliser. It will be situated in the North York Moors National Park.
The firm said last week construction was set to start in 2016 with mining expected to begin in about 2020.
NFU chief arable adviser Guy Gagen said: “The mine is a good thing because it puts more competition in the fertiliser market. If there is one fertiliser market which could be described as having problems with cartels, it is potash.
“There are not many other producers, some in Russia and Belarus.”
The project’s exports could reportedly be worth £1.2 billion and top destinations for the firm’s project include the US, China, Africa and mainland Europe. But it is understood potash from the mine will also be available on the domestic market and the company wishes to supply to UK farmers.
Mr Gagen suggested the process would be beneficial to UK farmers.
“We would like to see UK farmers being treated specially and have access to co-products of the mining operation,” he said.
Developer Sirius is currently finalising its definitive feasibility study but said the decision notice was a major milestone. The project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs at full production.