UPDATED: Giant mine scheme will bring significant economic benefits to UK after Brexit, says Sirius

SIRIUS Minerals, the developer of the giant North Yorkshire polyhalite mine, said the scheme was creating the opportunity to bring significant economic benefits to the UK after Brexit.

Chris Fraser of Sirius Minerals Picture: Ceri Oakes

Sirius has established a new corporate headquarters in North Yorkshire as it ramped up its construction and development work. The company’s Woodsmith Mine, near Whitby, is set to bring around 1,000 jobs to North Yorkshire.

A spokesman said: “2018 will be a pivotal year for the company as it seeks the remaining US$3bn in debt financing required to complete this transformational project.

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“Representing the largest private sector investment in the North, Sirius has an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and bring significant economic benefits to both national and local economies post-Brexit. In order to fully realise this transformational opportunity for the UK, a partnership with the UK Government, in the form of a Treasury Guarantee under the Infrastructure Project Authority’s scheme for up to US$2bn of the S$3bn to be raised, is essential.”

The company’s CEO Chris Fraser, said : “Our world class project based in North Yorkshire has the potential to disrupt the global fertilizer market and contribute substantially to the UK economy.

“We achieved a number of important performance milestones in 2017, with commencement of construction, incremental supply agreements signed, bringing the total to 4.4 million tonnes per annum, a move to the London Stock Exchanges’s main market and inclusion in the FTSE 250 amongst the highlights.

“We continue to innovate and work hard on all aspects of our project to secure value for shareholders and are focused on ensuring 2018 will be another year of significant progress on all fronts, as demonstrated by our recent shaft sinking contract.”

Cash resources at the end of December 2017 were £468.5 million, comprising bank deposits and cash equivalents of £394.0 million and restricted cash of £74.5 million, compared with £665.3 million at the end of December 2016.

Sirius’ chairman Russell Scrimshaw said: “As the largest private sector capital investment in the North, we are sending a clear message that the region is open for business and has the necessary skills and ability to deliver major infrastructure projects.”