Fun stuff

The Queen is among a clutch of landowners set to share a £3.8bn windfall from the largest mine dug in Britain. Dozens of small farmers in North Yorkshire could become multimillionaires thanks to a gigantic deposit of fertiliser a mile below the moors.

Sirius Minerals lifted the lid last week on the riches that will be unlocked for local people and estate owners by its mine. It broke ground on the project in North York Moors national park this year.

The company aims to tap a 70-metre deep seam of polyhalite, a mineral-rich form of potash. The £2.3bn mine is expected to reach peak production in the mid-2020s.

Sirius, which moved from the junior AIM market to the main board last week, said it would hand out royalty cheques of £65m a year. Under current projections, the payments will total £3.8bn over the lifetime of the project. The national park authority is set to receive £772m.

Minerals belong to the landowner. Except for gold, silver, fossil fuels, which belong to the Crown.

Just think how much easier fracking would be if the landowners got the royalty cheques…..

10 comments on “Fun stuff

  1. I am willing to bet the trend is for landowners to own less and less. Fewer and fewer mineral rights in particular. They are obvious things for the State to grab and they have been slowly grabbing more and more over time.

    This is an interesting project. Near Redcar there is a very deep potash mine. One of the deepest in Britain. Which extends out under the North Sea. Who owns those rights I wonder? I also wonder how competitive this mine really is.

  2. According to the Crown Estate website, they own nothing between the Teeside offshore wind farm and the Boroughbridge estate. It’s possible that there is something in her personal holdings. Although it won’t be the Duchy of Lancaster estate, will it? 😉

    Or, as SMFS doesn’t quite suggest, that this will extend over the foreshore. Difficult to tell.

  3. This isn’t the sort of fertiliser extraction that makes the ‘Greenies’ grow is it? 🙂

  4. Is there a depth limit to mineral rights? At some level down the area of a deposit / mine is going to be directly under a significantly larger area of surface land. Presumably all land owners have mineral rights over the centre of the Earth.

    The Martians in Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” destroyed a planet by blinking the centre mile (ten miles?) of its core out of existence. One hopes the removal of seventy metres under a mile depth of Yorkshire proceeds with some care.

  5. Normally any newspaper reference to the Queen’s wealth is bollocks, confusing Mrs W with the Crown. I suppose it’s long odds against this being an exception. Could they be assuming that the National Park Authority belongs to the aforesaid lady?

  6. There’s currently bricks being batted around here as at least three borough councillors own land on top of the Sirius development and will receive windfalls. North Yorkshire Enquirer is a good, if eccentric, source.

    PJF: He! I’m currently rereading SiaSL.

  7. SE, I’d have problems before I reached 30ft. I’m not particularly claustrophobic but I’m really not keen on great weights above my head being held up pretty much by accident. Am uncomfortable enough queuing under a motorway bridge.

    jgh, when I re-read it it was a “full” version that was apparently originally as intended but cut down due to editorial / commercial demands. I couldn’t remember the original enough to tell the difference. Enjoyed it, though. When I read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress it felt like I was rereading SiaSL, since it’s essentially the same story. That may be by design; apparently they are linked (but I’m not enough of a geek to explore).

    .

    So, other issues aside, are you in free-fall at the centre of the Earth?

  8. “So, other issues aside, are you in free-fall at the centre of the Earth?”

    Interesting question. If you mean the centre of mass of the earth, you’d not be at the centre of mass of the earth/moon system. So you’d be experiencing tidal effects.

  9. The acceleration due to the Moon at the Earth-moon distance is about 37 μN·kg⁻¹, roughly 3.7 microgee. This is effectively zero.

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