Today ICL Fertilisers, the company behind Boulby potash mine, have announced the mine will cease production of potash this year. They will switch focus to producing fertiliser polyhalite instead. The restructure means as many as 230 jobs could be lost in months.
Responding to the news, MP for Redcar Anna Turley said:
“Further job losses at Boulby, one of the bigger employers in Redcar & Cleveland, is dreadful and my thoughts are with the workers facing redundancy. Many families will now be starting the year with anxiety as they wait to hear if their jobs are affected.
“The workforce at the mine has been shrinking since 2015 with warnings that potash reserves have been depleting. With the development of Sirius Minerals’ mine I hope there will be alternative employment opportunities for the affected workers. But that is some way off and this is a painful blow to both the workforce and the local economy which has seen so many industrial jobs disappear.
“As the mine shifts its emphasis to mining polyhalite, I hope that job losses can be minimised. Safety also has to be a priority, especially given the number of incidents at the mine in recent times. Lives must not be endangered if fewer employees puts more pressure on remaining staff. I will do all I can, working with ICL and the trade unions, to support the workers affected.”