Sirius looks at funding options for potash mine

Sirius Minerals, the company behind the £10bn York Potash mine, is looking at a number of funding options and believes its requirements can be met as it prepares to launch itself as a world leading fertiliser business.

The proposed site for the York Potash Mine near Whitby in the North York Moors National Park

Sirius told investors that it is prioritising debt financing for the funding of the North Yorkshire polyhalite project. The group, which has been given planning permission for the potash mine, said it believes the overall funding requirement can be delivered through a number of mechanisms, with debt funding likely to make up as much of the overall requirement as possible.

Sirius, a pre-revenue company, reported a loss of £7m in the nine months to December 31.

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The mine will employ over 1,000 long term workers at full production and a further 1,500 workers will be employed indirectly.

Sirius said the ​York Potash project will deliver a huge boost to North Yorkshire and Teesside and will have a value of over £10bn, rising to £19bn when production starts.

It said that at full production, the mine's annual contribution to UK GDP would be £2.3bn, with £2.5bn of exports helping to decrease the 2015 balance of trade deficit by seven per cent.

​The mine will produce 20 million tonnes of potash a year and production is scheduled to start in 2021.

Chris Fraser, ​m​anaging ​d​irector and CEO of Sirius, ​said: “The business that is created from this project will sit as a world leader in the fertiliser industry based here in the UK. It is expected to have a low operating cost structure, high margins and a very long asset life in one of the most business friendly, stable and dynamic economies in the world.

“In delivering this ​p​roject we can create thousands of jobs in North Yorkshire and Teesside, deliver billions of pounds of investment to the UK and put the country at the forefront of the multi-nutrient fertili​s​er industry.

“Work is advancing with our financing partners globally to bring together the pieces of the initial financing of this ​p​roject. This process is expected to take a number of months but certain parts of the early construction activity, such as highways upgrades, are commencing soon to facilitate an efficient start of the ​p​roject.”