Independent economic impact assessment predicts huge benefits from North Yorkshire fertilizer mining project:
- Annual GDP contributions of £2.3 billion for at least 50 years
- Thousands of high-paying, highly-productive jobs created
- Annual exports worth £2.5 billion to cut UK trade deficit by 7%
- “Exemplary project for addressing the UK’s ambitions and challenges as we leave the European Union,” says Quod report
Sirius Minerals’ new fertilizer mining project in North Yorkshire will boost Britain’s economy by £2.3 billion a year after Brexit, according to an independent study released today (TUESDAY).
The economic impact assessment by leading consultants Quod predicted the Sirius project – to mine and export a vast resource of natural fertilizer called polyhalite – will create thousands of jobs and deliver huge export-led growth for at least the next 50 years.
And it said the £3.2 billion project would help rebalance the UK economy with “transformative” effects for North Yorkshire and Teesside.
The Quod report – conducted to Treasury Green Book standards – sets out a series of “nationally significant economic impacts” which the Sirius project will deliver after the UK has left the European Union. Once the mine is at full production it is estimated to deliver:
• Direct contribution to GDP of over £2.3 billion every year
• Exports of £2.5 billion each year – reducing the UK’s trade deficit by 7%
• The creation of over 1,000 long-term, high-skilled, high wage jobs
• The creation of thousands more jobs during construction and in the supply chain
• Annual tax contributions worth £472 million a year, helping to pay for public services
Delivering an assessment of the project, the Quod report states: “By significantly increasing economic output, boosting and empowering regional success and skills development, increasing exports, driving productivity and reducing the trade deficit, the Project is an exemplary project for addressing the UK’s ambitions and challenges as we leave the European Union.
“It will continue to generate export-led growth, jobs and economic value, for at least the next 50 years.”
A £2.3 billion annual GDP contribution over 50 years would deliver a £100 billion boost to the economy over the first five decades of the mine.
Sirius Minerals has already begun construction work on its Woodsmith Mine site near Whitby in North Yorkshire.
Two 1,600m long shafts are being drilled to extract the polyhalite, a unique fertilizer which contains four of the six minerals plants need to grow and has been proven to boost crop yields.
The polyhalite will then be transported through a 23-mile long underground tunnel to a new processing plant and specially-built harbour facility on Teesside, adjacent to the former SSI steelwork site which closed in 2015.
Sirius Minerals commissioned the Quod report following the commencement of construction of its Woodsmith Mine last year and has published the results ahead of its AGM this week.
This year the FTSE250 company is working to deliver its ‘stage two financing’ of up to $3 billion of bank debt.
The company also in discussion with the Infrastructure Projects Authority regarding a potential Treasury guarantee to form a part of the financing.
The project – which is the largest private sector investment in the North – has widespread cross-party political support at a local level, and Sirius Minerals Managing Director Chris Fraser was part of the Prime Minister’s business delegation to China in January.
As the company seeks to complete its financing this year, today’s Quod report states: “Opportunities on this scale are rare. The Project is particularly timely as it will address so many of the Government’s current and urgent challenges and aspirations at this time of change in the UK’s economy and international outlook.”
Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius Minerals, said:
“This economic impact report shows what significant and long-lasting benefits Sirius Minerals is delivering at a vital time for the UK.
“We will generate substantial export-led growth, create thousands of jobs, and provide hundreds of millions of pounds in tax revenue to benefit the local and national economies after Britain has left the European Union.”
“We will also give the UK a leading role in tackling global food security, selling fertilizer from North Yorkshire to help grow plants right around the world.
Robert Goodwill, Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby said: “This project is a huge opportunity for the UK and sits at the heart of the Government’s Industrial Strategy agenda. The creation of thousands of jobs, increase in productivity and boost to exports will help power our economy at a critical time."
Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, said: “Sirius Minerals is great news for Redcar and the Tees Valley. After the recent closure of the steelworks, new high-value jobs and large-scale supply chain opportunities will be a welcome boost.”