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Sirius Slumps to 10-Month Low After Potash Delay: London Mover

Sirius Minerals Plc (SXX) slid to a 10-month low in London trading after requesting that a ruling on its application to build a $1.9 billion potash mine in the U.K. be deferred.

Sirius plunged as much as 20 percent to 17.25 pence, the lowest since Sept. 7. Sirius said it had asked the North York Moors National Park Authority to delay its decision on the mine while it responds to questions about the environmental impact of the project.

Sirius, which is seeking to start building the U.K.’s second operating potash mine this year in the North York Moors National Park, requires financing and government approvals for the project.

“The decision to seek the deferral is specifically to allow the company time to address issues relating to European habitat legislation and robustly deal with the questions over the work completed by consultants on the environmental assessments,” Sirius said in a statement today. “This deferral is likely to extend the project timeframe.”

AMEC, consultants to the Park Authority for the project, released a report that Sirius said July 16 contained “a number of negative statements.” The company said it disagreed with “large parts” of the report and was preparing a detailed response to the concerns raised.

The project, called York Potash, hosts the world’s largest estimated resource of polyhalite, with 2.7 billion metric tons of the potash material. The U.K.’s only potash mine, Boulby, is immediately north of York. Potash is a form of potassium used to strengthen plant roots and protect against drought.

Sirius traded 3 pence lower at 18.5 pence by 8:23 a.m. Trading volumes were already twice the three-month daily average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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