Sirius confident despite losses


CHIEFS behind the Potash project believe there is “every chance” the mine will become a reality - despite their company reporting losses of more than £7 million.

Chris Catlow, the chairman of Sirius Minerals, which owns more than 600sq km of mining rights between Scarborough and Whitby, believes the region is set to become a major centre for the production of potash.

Sirius unveiled plans for the mine after purchasing the York Potash project in January this year.

Mr Catlow’s comments come as he reveals the company’s latest results, which show a pre-tax loss of £7.7 million for the year to the end of March.

Mr Catlow said: “York Potash has the potential to rapidly become a ‘tier 1’ company-making asset.

“It provides Sirius with a world-class project that has every chance of becoming a major potash production centre and a significant contributor to both the North Yorkshire and the UK economies.

“Sirius remains committed to a diversified portfolio approach to major project financing and development.

“At the same time as aggressively moving York Potash forward we will continue to conduct exploration and analysis work on our existing Australian and American properties and review and evaluate numerous other opportunities to add shareholder value.

“Strength throughout our portfolio is what will drive the success of Sirius in achieving its goal of becoming a major potash producer.”

Sirius is in the process of conducting test drilling in the area to extract cores of the potash minerals so experts at the company can develop a picture of the underground conditions.

Once this work is complete more detailed proposals for the wider project will be developed.

Sirius, which has moved to an office on the Dawnay Estate business park at Wykeham to be close to the project, says the first plans for the mine could be submitted within 18 months to two years.

The mine will be the first potash mine in the UK for 40 years, creating 5,000 local jobs directly and indirectly.

Bosses at Sirius believe the mine has the potential to unearth billions of pounds worth of potash over the next 50 years.