Here's what needs to be done to make Sirius Mineral the success it should be - Mark Casci

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The fact that shares remain stable with Sirius Minerals is testimony to the faith investors clearly have in its business plan.

Its work to create a Potash mine in North Yorkshire could be the biggest transformation for the micro economy around the Whitby area since the Steam Age began bringing tourists to the Coastline during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Sirius Minerals mine in North Yorkshire.

Sirius Minerals mine in North Yorkshire.

It is expected to create and support 1,000 high-skilled jobs and bring an economic boom to the region.

The potential of Sirius was underlined in recent days when it entered into an exclusive ten-year supply and distribution agreement with Qatari state-owned Muntajat.

Via its subsidiary York Potash, Sirius will supply and distribute volumes of its POLY4 into Africa, Australia, New Zealand and certain remaining Middle East and Asian territories.

Abdulrahman Ali Al-Abdulla, CEO of Muntajat, said: “We see tremendous potential in POLY4 and Sirius’ Project which will enable us to bring this multi-nutrient product to our extensive global customer network.

“The addition of POLY4 will complement our existing portfolio and will enable us to provide a more complete solution to our customers in these important markets by adding additional macro-nutrients to our portfolio.”

The announcement is all the more impressive for the fact that Sirius Minerals was forced last month to scrap its planned £400m fundraiser.

The move had been initiated as the firm wrestles with a deeply uncertain international economic climate which is being battered by the storm of the US-China trade war and the ongoing machinations of Brexit.

Sirius had warned that it would be scaling back production at the site and it is currently in the midst of a “comprehensive” review to assess different ways to secure the necessary funding for the project.

The imperilled state of the project has led political leaders and businesses from North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and the wider region to call on Government to step in.

Scarborough Borough Council, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, the Mayor of the Tees Valley, Northern Powerhouse Partnership, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and Sembcorp Energy UK, a key business in the Sirius Minerals’ project supply chain, have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister setting out how vital the success of the project is to the northern economy and prosperity of the area’s communities.

It read: “We will do everything in our power to harness Government support for the Sirius Minerals project. The significant and once in a generation opportunity the projects presents to transform our communities and deliver economic benefits on a regional and national scale should not be underestimated.

“We urge the Government to continue to engage with Sirius, to continue to support this truly transformational project and to work towards a solution that sees it delivered on time.”

Those behind the letter are now urging the Government to continue to engage with Sirius to work towards a solution that sees it delivered on time.

Quite what this would look like remains to be seen.

Like so many transformational projects, brimming with potential to boost the North’s economy, the mine project is expensive.

Given the scale of what is at stake, perhaps Whitehall could agree to underwrite the funding for the project?

The ROI for Yorkshire and the UK is palpable, as seen by the Qatari deal.