A GLOBAL mining giant is pausing most activity on a major project in North Yorkshire.

Anglo American, which bought Sirius Minerals in a rescue takeover deal, has announced it is putting most construction and development activity on hold on its Woodsmith polyhalite project near Whitby.

This follows Government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Appropriate action is being taken to enable safe and swift resumption of work.

The state-of-the-art Woodsmith Mine will target the extraction of polyhalite, a multi-nutrient fertilizer.

Chief executive, Mark Cutifani, said: “Anglo American’s priorities are the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and all those who interact with our business around the world. We also have a clear responsibility to protect the integrity of our business and assets so that we are ready to restart and ramp up any affected operations safely and as quickly as possible once permitted to do so.

"This approach will enable us to minimise any interruption of supply to our customers and be in a position to support what will be a vital economic recovery phase for the countries in which we operate and the global economy.”