Sirius Minerals plans to mine ten million tonnes per year of potash in North Yorkshire moors, UK

20 March 2016 (Last Updated March 20th, 2016 18:30)

Fertiliser development company Sirius Minerals has unveiled the findings from the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its North Yorkshire polyhalite project in the UK, and expressed its plan to produce 20 million tonnes per annum of potash, with initial production of ten million tonnes per year.

Fertiliser development company Sirius Minerals has unveiled the findings from the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its North Yorkshire polyhalite project in UK, and expressed its plan to produce 20 million tonnes per annum of potash, with initial production of ten million tonnes per year.

The company expects to produce its first product in 2021, followed by the end of fit out and ramp-up with a ten million tonne per year rate expected in 2023.

Sirius Minerals also aims to raise $3.56bn to fund a huge polyhalite mine underneath the North York Moors national park near Whitby, UK.

The financing will be done in two phases, with the first phase comprising $1.63bn and second phase including $1.93bn for installing 10Mtpa capacity.

"The business that is created from this project will sit as a world leader in the fertiliser industry based here in the UK."

The current net present value (NPV) of the project, which could last for 100 years, is $15bn and the NVP could rise to $27bn once the production starts.

The project will include dropping a shaft and digging caves at a depth of 1,500m and shipping of polyhalite through conveyor belt via a 23 mile underground tunnel.

The polyhalite would then be transported for processing on Teeside, with the help of the previous Redcar steelworks, reports The Telegraph.

Once commissioned, Sirius is aiming to make annual profits of between $1bn and $3bn from the project.

Sirius Minerals managing director and CEO Chris Fraser 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."

The project would soon see early construction activity including highways upgrades and expects to create thousands of jobs in North Yorkshire and the Teesside area.