Sirius Minerals is making progress on its huge North Yorkshire potash mine

Courtney Goldsmith
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Inside Boulby Potash Mine
Sirius Minerals' massive mine is expected to begin production in 2021 (Source: Getty)

Fertiliser maker Sirius Minerals today said work at its massive North Yorkshire potash mine is progressing well, but its shares edged down in morning trading.

Sirius, which only last month joined the FTSE 250 stock index, is building a mine for a more than 775 square km site of polyhalite, a form of potash, in the North York Moors national park.

In a second-quarter update on the project, Sirius said the mine remains on time and in budget, although it is still in the early stages. Shares in the company fell 2.2 per cent to 31.96 in morning trading.

"It has been a productive quarter with timely progress made on site preparation works in advance of shaft sinking commencing in quarter three. The team on site and at our headquarters has grown considerably as we continue with the delivery of the Woodsmith Mine and its associated infrastructure," said Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius.

Now Sirius is looking for opportunities to accelerate components of the shaft and tunnel spend to de-risk the construction of the project and potentially shorten the schedule.

Sirius is also turning its attention to a second round of financing to help it complete the mine.

First production at the huge fertiliser mine is set to begin in 2021, and it is expected to hit peak production in 2026 when it will produce 20m tonnes of polyhalite per year.

In May, Sirius announced local landowners on the site of the fertiliser project could earn royalties of £3.8bn over the roughly 50-year lifespan of the project.

Read more: Potash back: Farmers in Yorkshire will earn millions from new mine project

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