Sirius soars on go ahead from York planners

 
Caitlin Morrison
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SHARES in mining firm Sirius Minerals shot up yesterday after the company revealed that it is one step closer to going ahead with its plans for a potash project in the North York Moors.

The company’s shares were up by over 60 per cent by lunchtime yesterday, and closed up by 43.33 per cent, at 21.5p.

Members of the North York Moors National Park Authority resolved on Tuesday to grant permission for the firm’s mine and mineral transport system planning application.

This decision means Sirius will be able to move ahead with plans for its York Potash Project. The group aims to mine for potash, commonly used as a fertiliser, in the form of polyhalite.

Analysts yesterday lauded the news, with Accendo Markets’ Augustin Eden pointing out that “the plans have, perhaps surprisingly, garnered widespread support with local residents and officials hopeful of 1,000 new jobs in the area”. The project could also bring about a “re-ignition of northern England’s mining heritage”.

Sirius boss Chris Fraser said the decision was “just the beginning for the company”

“We have made a major step forward and now have a pathway to reaching production and unlocking ever more value for our shareholders,” he said.

“The case for the project has always been compelling because it will not only generate so many jobs and economic benefits, but also because it is accompanied by such extensive mitigations, safeguards and environmentally sensitive design.”

WHAT IS POTASH?

Potash is the common term for fertiliser forms of the element potassium. The name derives from the collection of wood ash in metal pots when its fertilising properties were first recognised many centuries ago. Most of the world’s potash is used in agriculture.

SIRIUS AIMS TO
▀ CREATE OVER 1,000 JOBS, WITH A COMMITMENT TO SEEK TO RECRUIT LOCALLY FIRST
▀ MAKE AN ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION TO UK GDP OF OVER £1BN
▀ RAISE $1BN (£647M) IN FUNDING FOR THE PROJECT, DEPENDENT ON THE OUTCOME OF A DEFINITIVE FEASIBILITY PROJECT WHICH IS DUE IN THE COMING WEEKS