Sirius signs deal with Tanzania and provides lift to potash project

SIRIUS Minerals, the company behind plans for a £1bn potash mine in North Yorkshire, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tanzanian ministry of agriculture.

Sirius said the deal will support the introduction of polyhalite in Tanzania and it fits in with the Government’s policy of supporting growth in trade and investment with Tanzania to create mutual growth and jobs. Sirius’ large potash project in North Yorkshire is set to produce a raw fertiliser feed called polyhalite which contains four of the six macro nutrients required for healthy plant growth, together with many minor elements which perform essential plant functions.

Analyst Paul Smith, at WH Ireland, said: “Sirius announces another positive step in the marketing of its polyhalite product and has signed a memorandum of understanding with The Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture on support for, and research on, polyhalite into Tanzania.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

“This follows the signing of a ‘High Level Prosperity Partnership’ between the UK and Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania to strengthen economic co-operation between the countries in specific sec- tors.”

One of the key elements of development of the Sirius project has been to market the product successfully and​ ​it​ ​has conducted numerous crop trials to show the effectiveness of polyhalite.

“We view this as another positive step in bringing the York Potash project through the feasibility process and demonstrating the value of polyhalite,” said Mr Smith.

Chris Fraser, CEO of Sirius,​ ​said:​ ​“Agriculture plays a major role in the economy of Tanzania and indeed much of Africa and the large-scale, low-cost nature of the polyhalite from the York Potash Project could significantly improve accessibility to key nutrients across the con- tinent.

​“​This could help to encourage better balanced fertili​s​ation practices, leading to better productivity outcomes for farmers in the region and has the potential to positively impact millions of lives in Africa.​”

Tanzanian agriculture has historically experienced an under application of fertilisers due to inaccessibility of low cost pro-ducts.