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  1. ITV Report

Doubt cast over future of giant fertiliser mine in North Yorkshire

It had been hoped that thousands of jobs would be created Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Doubt has been cast over the future of an ongoing project to build a giant fertiliser mine underneath the North York Moors.

It had been hoped that thousands of jobs would be created on the completion of the 23 mile underground tunnel linking North Yorkshire to Teesside but this morning it was announced that the company behind Sirius Minerals has abandoned a £400 million fundraiser and will be reviewing the project.

Shares in the mining firm plummeted in early trading Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Shares in the mining firm plummeted in early trading, shedding more than half of its value, after it said it would be scaling back production at the site near Whitby.

The company said it believes its major bond offering cannot go ahead "in current market conditions" and will launch the "comprehensive" review over the next six months to assess different ways to secure the necessary funding for the project.

Due to the ongoing poor bond market conditions for an issuer like Sirius we have not been able to deliver our stage 2 financing plan.

As a result, we have taken the decision to reduce the rate of development across the project in order to preserve funding to allow more time to develop alternatives and preserve the significant amount of inherent value in this world-class project.

This is the most prudent decision to give the company the time necessary to restructure its plans to move the project forward.

– Chris Fraser, managing director and chief operating officer of Sirius