Interactive Investor

Sirius Minerals gets last major approval

20th July 2016 13:03

by Lee Wild from interactive investor

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Sirius Minerals has now received all major approvals for its huge potash mine near Whitby in North Yorkshire after the government rubber-stamped development of the company's harbour facilities at Teesside.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling only took over from Patrick McLoughlin last week following new PM Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle, but had to meet today's deadline for approval.

Clearly, having received a report of recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate in April, the outcome here was never in doubt, even more so following the Brexit vote last month. Overnight, big projects like these took on even greater significance for the UK economy and British jobs.

"Taking into account the positive socio-economic benefits of the scheme compared with its limited and manageable environmental impacts, the proposals in the order are in conformity with the development plan and constitute sustainable development in relation to the National Planning Policy Framework," concludes the Transport department.

Managing director and chief executive Chris Fraser was understandably delighted: "Our team is currently actively engaged in the financing phase of the project and I look forward to providing further updates in due course," he said. "We are closer than ever to delivering this world-class project."

In just a few years, millions of tonnes of fertiliser will be shipped from the port after making its way from the mine via a 36.5 kilometre tunnel. The approved development consent order includes the new berth, ship loading facilities and the conveyor link to the materials handling facility at the Wilton International site.

Last month, Sirius said it has reduced the capital cost of the project by 18% from $3.6 billion (£2.7 billion) to $2.9 billion. First phase capital is slashed by a third to $1.1 billion, which means a much lower equity component needed for this stage of the development.

Then, joint house broker WH Ireland said: "We maintain our 'buy' recommendation today and retain our 60p price target, but we recognise the positive impact that today’s news will have on the potential financing solutions available."

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

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