BGS awarded major potash contract

Polyhalite core from the first borehole; ©Sirius Minerals Plc

As part of the process to evaluate a potential potash deposit in North Yorkshire, the BGS has been contracted by York Potash Ltd, a part of Sirius Minerals Plc to characterise core material recovered from a series of six exploration boreholes. 

Potash provides a critical source of potassium for fertilizers which are increasingly in demand to boost crop yields and resistance to disease to satisfy the escalating world population.

Sirius Minerals holds various onshore and offshore mineral rights agreements covering 621  km2 between the towns of Whitby and Scarborough.  Based on an analysis of existing data, a JORC Exploration Target1 of between 3.3 and 6 billion tonnes of 67% to 94% polyhalite (19% to 27% K2SO4) has been established for the currently contracted area.  Likewise, a JORC Exploration Target of between 330 and 400 million tonnes of 35% to 40% potassium chloride (KCl) has also been established for the project.

The boreholes are planned to intersect the Permian evaporite sequence at depths between 1150 and 1700 m, and three potash-bearing horizons in particular: the Sneaton Potash Seam, the Boulby Potash Seam and the Fordon Polyhalite Seam.  The polyhalite is the primary target of the exploration and the two potash horizons are secondary targets.

BGS was contracted to carry out the work on the basis of its expertise, reputation and impartiality and that it could offer the full range of required core curation, inspection and photography facilities as well as state-of-the art mineralogical and geochemical analyses at its Keyworth headquarters.

1 The JORC Exploration Target estimates of quantity and grade are conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource on the property and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in discovery of a Mineral Resource on the property.  The estimates are not a Reserve or Resource statement in accordance with an AIM recognised Standard and should not therefore be relied upon as such.


2 November 2011