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Delay in Planning Decision on North Yorkshire Potash Mine

Minster FM News Generic

9:37am 28th March 2013

A decision on a proposed potash mine in the North York Moors National Park has been delayed until July.   

The six week delay is because the Ministry of Defence is worried drilling could affect its radar equipment.

Sirius Minerals has received further requests for information from the North York Moors National Park Authority  in relation to the York Potash planning application. 

In order for the application to be determined robustly, the NYMNPA will now re-consult statutory stakeholders once additional information is received from the Company.  The NYMNPA has agreed in principal, pending venue confirmation, a revised determination date of 2 July 2013.  Both parties are keen to have the application determined in a timely fashion, under the spirit of the Planning Performance Agreement previously agreed.  The Company has committed to providing all additional information to the NYMNPA by 21 April 2013 at the latest.

As per the announcement on 15 March 2013, the Company had been progressing the required work to provide information to the NYMNPA for the agreed deadline of 3 April 2013.  This work was on track to be delivered on time.  Whilst further information requests are still possible as part of the planning process, the main consultees have now responded and the Company views this as unlikely provided it can provide the information that has now been requested. 

The overall project timeline remains unchanged at this time and it is anticipated that, subject to onshore mining approval, early site works would begin before the end of the year.

Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, commented:

“It is in everyone’s best interest that the application is determined properly and robustly and, although there has been a huge amount of work that has gone into the application, it’s important that key consultees are comfortable with the technical details.  We remain confident in the strength of the application, the substantial benefits it can deliver and the progress of this important project.”

Following the ‘holding objection’ made by the Ministry of Defence (“MoD”) in relation to concerns over possible impact on RAF Fylingdales, the Company has provided a detailed technical report which it believes addresses the concerns raised.  The MoD is having the report independently reviewed and is expected to respond in the coming weeks.  The Company remains confident that it has demonstrated that there will be no impact on this important facility. 

The Company is planning a webcast explaining the planning process at a date to be confirmed.

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