We’ve an even stronger case, claims Sirius

Chris Fraser, CEO and MD of Sirius Minerals on site at Dove Nest Farm, at Sneaton,near Whitby which is the site earmarked for a planned new Potash Mine. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Chris Fraser, CEO and MD of Sirius Minerals on site at Dove Nest Farm, at Sneaton,near Whitby which is the site earmarked for a planned new Potash Mine. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

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THE COMPANY behind plans for a potash mine in the North York Moors said it has an “even stronger” planning case and environmental position following lengthy delays and opposition to its mining application.

Sirius Minerals, which is hoping to open the York Potash project at Sneaton, near Whitby, will submit revised proposals for planning permission this autumn.

Chairman Russell Scrimshaw said: “In recent years we have made exceptional progress towards our goals and also experienced some real highs and lows along that journey. It is said that ‘what doesn’t break you makes you stronger’ and despite the disappointment of the delays to the mine planning application for the York Potash Project in 2013, we are emerging with an even stronger planning case and environmental statement as well as with further strengthening of our business and project plans.”

The company ended March with £48.4m of cash in the bank following a £43m fundraising earlier that month.​ ​

Its pre-tax loss narrowed to £10.1m in the year to March 31, from a loss of £14.6m.

Mr Scrimshaw said the past year will be remembered for the signing of a major, long-term take-or-pay contract with a Fortune 500 US based agri-business.

“Such a commitment at this stage of a project’s development has been hitherto largely unheard of in our industry,” he said.

Analyst Paul Smith, at WH Ireland, said: “Sirius has signed nearly 5Mt of offtake and sales agreements with a variety of global companies, demonstrating there is a market for the polyhalite to be produced by Sirius.”

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