ICL’s Cleveland Potash cuts hundreds jobs

ICL’s Cleveland Potash to cuts hundreds of jobs

6:01 AM, 17th November 2015
ICL’s Cleveland Potash to cuts hundreds of jobs

BOULBY, UK: Cleveland Potash at Boulby, has begun consultation with about 220 workers, with a further 140 contractor roles to be cut as well. Cleveland Potash’s parent company Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL), UK described the move as ‘painful’ and warned a similar number of jobs could go in 2018.

ICL UK cited a reduction in the level of economically-feasible potash reserves at Boulby, which the company estimates will be depleted by 2018. The plant, which currently employs about 1,100 people, will produce another fertiliser, called polysulphate.

“In recent months we encountered geological problems which have affected previously high-yielding areas of the mine,” said Peter Smith, executive VP, potash of ICL.

“In addition, our exploration programme, validated by independent consultants, confirmed further geological difficulties, which means that we have only a very limited level of economically feasible potash reserves. The reality of our potash reserves running out by 2018 means that we must develop a new business strategy if we are to continue mining at Boulby,” added Smith.

ICL UK said it would invest £20 million this year in the site’s infrastructure with a potential further £20 million to increase production of polysulphate from an estimated 200,000 tonne this year to one million tonnes by 2020.

“It’s truly devastating news for those miners and their families. It just seems to be everywhere you look, we are seeing huge amounts of redundancy in our industry and it’s surely unprecedented, and all within the borough of Redcar and Cleveland,” said Tom Blenkinsop, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland labour MP.

“This is yet another blow to the community, who have already been subjected to thousands of job losses from the closure of SSI in Redcar in the last few weeks,” said Anna Turley, labour MP for Redcar.

© BBC News

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