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Sirius Minerals confident of York Potash Project's success
A POTASH firm says it will need extra cash to fund a delayed £1.5bn development.
Sirius Minerals wants to mine polyhalite, a form of the fertiliser potash, under the North York Moors National Park, near Whitby.
However, bosses have now revealed they require additional funding to maintain work but say money is available for the project, which they believe could create 1,000 jobs.
The Northern Echo understands Sirius still has reserves remaining from a £25m New York-based private investment, and it previously confirmed agreements to send millions of tonnes of polyhalite to companies in China, Latin America and Africa if the mine is approved.
The cash announcement came as Sirius revealed losses of £6.3m for the six months to September 30, though it did reveal access to £13m to continue its planning work and polyhalite crop studies.
Earlier this year, the firm revealed its full-year results, which showed pre-tax losses of £14.6m in the year ending March 31, which were down from £63.1m last year.
The mine, known as the York Potash Project, stalled in July when bosses deferred submitting plans to the North York Moors National Park Authority to address environmental concerns.
Russell Scrimshaw, Sirius Minerals' chairman, said: “We have come a long way in a relatively short period and continue to make good progress.
“The group will require additional funding to achieve its objectives over the next 12 months, but the directors are confident this will be forthcoming.
“We have identified and defined the world’s largest and highest grade deposit of polyhalite, for which we have established a strong and growing global market, and are now working towards fulfilling a detailed checklist of approval issues.
“Once that is addressed, it can provide so many jobs and benefits to the region and the UK.”
Mr Scrimshaw said the company was confident the mine would go ahead and believed there was a strong fertiliser market, backed up by its participation in the Government's Chinese trade mission.
He said: “Our frustration at having to request a delay to the planning application has been detailed extensively.
“We now have a process in place where the environmental studies for all key parts of the project will be available at the same time, leaving little doubt that there are no environmental concerns that can't be avoided or mitigated to a satisfactory level.
“There has been recent turbulence in the potash markets caused by the dispute between potash companies in Russia and Belarus.
“However, our view on the world potash market remains that our polyhalite has a significant role to play in the world fertiliser markets.”
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