IM Agriminerals News in Brief 20 – 26 June

By James Sean Dickson
Published: Friday, 26 June 2015

Sirius Minerals faces opposition ahead of permitting; Potash Minerals decides not to appeal potash ruling; Aguia extends Cerro Preto strike length.

A group of 29 environment and amenity organisations have signed a letter to the North York Moors National Park Authority outlining objections to Sirius Minerals Plc’s York Potash polyhalite project in northeast England.

Led by the Campaign for national parks, the letter said that the proposal poses a "huge threat" to the national park and the permitting decision due on 30 June would be a critical test of the protection granted to national parks nationwide.

"There is insufficient evidence that alternative sites outside the National Park have been adequately considered," the letter said.

"The potential damage to the landscape during the construction phase is so substantial that Natural England has submitted a formal objection. There would also be lasting damage to the wildlife and landscape of the area," it added.

In Australia, Potash Minerals Ltd has elected not to appeal a decision by the US Bureau of Land Management denying the company an extension on its 22 federal prospecting permits, which expired on 1 June.

The company said that the expiry of the permits would have a material effect on the size of its mineral resource at the Hatch Point potash project.

Potash Minerals submitted the unsuccessful application for a two year extension in May.

The company does however continue to hold Utah state leases awarded to the company on which its joint venture company, K20 Utah, completed a drilling programme between 2012 and 2013.

Finally, ASX-listed Aguia Resources Ltd has extended the strike length of its Cerro Preto phosphate discovery in the Rio Grande region of southern Brazil.

Aguia said its initial results suggest a similarity to the western phosphate field of the US.

"We now plan to fast-track exploration activities at the project. Sampling and trenching is ongoing and we plan to aggressively drill the discovery later in the year," Justin Ried, the company’s executive chairperson, said.

"Given the change in the potential scale of Cerro Preto, it is important that Aguia places significant emphasis and investment in advancing this project which we will do concurrently with development activities at Tres Estradas, our most developed property," Reid added.

In Ukraine, Kiev-based Group DF saw 1.6m tonnes cargo pass through its subsidiary owned port in Nika Tera, Ukraine between January and May.

The SSP Nika Terra LLC company operated terminal saw 31.6% of its exports – 524,700, leave as mineral fertilisers.

"The transhipment of the transit cargo increased by 34.4% to 432,400 tonnes for the first 5 months of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014," Group DF said.