Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, has invested £245m in the UK’s biggest potash mine on the edge of the North York Moors national park.
The £1.7bn mine, which was given the go-ahead last year after a protracted planning battle, has promised to restore the region’s proud mining heritage and bring more than 1,000 jobs.
The project received a major boost on Tuesday when Sirius Minerals, the company behind the Yorkshire mine, announced a US$300m (£245m) deal with Rinehart’s Australian agricultural firm Hancock Prospecting.
The mine, which sits on protected moorland overlooking Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay, aims to produce up to 20m tonnes a year of a potassium-rich mineral called polyhalite, a type of potash fertiliser described by Sirius as a “fertiliser of the future”.
Under the deal Rinehart will purchase $50m of Sirius shares and pay $250m for a 5% royalty stream on the first 13m tonnes of fertiliser produced by the mine annually, and the right to purchase up to 20,000 tonnes of product each year for use on her expanding Australian agricultural holdings.
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