Date: Friday 19 Jul 2013
Sirius Minerals has defended its flagship potash project against a report that casts doubts on the benefits of the proposed mine in Yorkshire.
The report was written by consultants AMEC for the North York Moors National Park Authority, which will decide whether to allow the project. It said the market for the polyhalite fertiliser at the site was too small and that economic and employment benefits put forward by Sirius would not happen.
The company's shares were down 12.2% to 19.75p at 08:50. They have lost 29% in the last week as doubts have mounted about the key Yorkshire project. The company secured a delay to its application on July 18th to let it address issues in the AMEC report.
In a statement, Sirius said: “This document [the report] concludes that the need for the development has not been proven. In the conclusion, AMEC states that it does not believe there is a significant market for polyhalite and therefore stated economic benefits are unlikely to occur. This is followed with a view that as polyhalite cannot be sold in sufficient volumes, the economic and employment benefits cannot be realised.”
Sirius said there were a number of omissions in the report that it will point out to the park authority. These include the potential for jobs and economic growth and agreements it has to sell polyhalite.
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