Sunday 10 May 2015 11:19 pm

Sirius Minerals to raise $1bn for York Potash Project

Aim-listed Sirius Minerals is set to go to the market looking to raise $1bn (£647m) in funding for its York Potash Project. A spokesman for the company told City A.M. yesterday that the fundraising is dependent on the decision of the North York Moors National Park committee, which is expected to be announced on 30 June. Sirius is planning to develop a large polyhalite mine within the park in a project that will cost around $3bn by the time it completes, while production from the mine is expected to begin around five years after approval is granted. The firm’s spokesman said the rest of the fundraising will be done in stages, and the project will be paid for through a mixture of debt and equity. Bankers from Liberum led a £15m share placing for Sirius earlier this year, however yesterday the company said it was too early to name the banks that would advise on this transaction. The decision from the North York Moors group will mark the culmination of Sirius’ planning approval process. Shares in Sirius jumped in April after the company announced that Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council had positively approved the Materials Handling Facility (MHF) development at its Wilton site at Teesside. The MHF will be at the end of the conveyor from the proposed mine, and will crush, grind and granulate the polyhalite in preparation for shipment. At the time, Paul Smith, analyst at WH Ireland, said the approvals granted by the council were encouraging.