Sirius Minerals granted deferral on York potash project approval

Suzie Neuwirth
BRITISH potash miner Sirius Minerals was yesterday given an extension by the North York Moors National Park Authority to defer the determination of its mining application.

The company said earlier in the day that the decision to seek the deferral was “to address issues relating to European habitat legislation and robustly deal with the questions over the work completed by consultants on the environmental assessments”.

Approval by the park is one of many hurdles facing the project, which critics say could harm the region’s ecosystem and tourism industry, but whose supporters say could provide badly needed jobs.

Sirius’ shares were volatile yesterday, falling as much as 20 per cent on the news before rebounding and closing 4.7 per cent up at 22.5p.

Sirius said the deferral is likely to extend the project timeframe.

“It’s right that some extra time is taken to enable a robust decision to be made by the National Park members,” said Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the authority, its consultants and all the key statutory agencies to address the issues that have been raised. The company has a current cash balance of £10m and with the drilling programme coming to an end we are well placed from a funding perspective.”