YORK Potash is a major name in the region as it look to establish a new billion pound mine in North Yorkshire with the promise of 1,000 direct jobs.

The proposed new mine, near Whitby, will be the first in the world focused on the extraction of polyhalite, a unique form of potash suitable for widespread commercial use as a fertiliser (POLY4).

As the company works on its planning application from its headquarters in Scarborough, its sales team has been breaking into a global market, securing sales commitments in various forms for nearly five million tonnes of POLY4 per year once in production.

These agreements, which have resulted in York Potash entering the Dare to Export Award, span the globe, taking in customers from China, North America, Mexico, Chile and Indonesia.

Gareth Edmunds, External Affairs director at York Potash, said: "This is a major step towards delivering our aim of becoming one of the world’s top five potash producers.

"York Potash now has agreements in place for 75 per cent of our initial production target of 6.5 million tonnes per annum, and can look forward to increasing this further in the next year and truly establishing POLY4 as the fertilizer of the future."

Due to the location of the potash mineral underground York Potash says the mine has to be situated within the North York Moors National Park.

The company says it is "acutely aware" of the need to limit the visual impact of the project and is aiming to set a new benchmark in sustainable mine design, which it hopes will impress judges in the Think Green award.

The number of surface buildings has been limited to a minimum, including sinking the winding gear, usually housed in towers up to 100 metres tall, to beneath the surface in a world first design.