Sirius Minerals to meet park, planning authorities on July 29

July 25 Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:59am EDT

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July 25 (Reuters) - Authorities at the North York Moors National Park, where Sirius Minerals Plc plans to mine potash, said the company would meet planning authorities on Monday to discuss the $1.7 billion project.

"There's a bigger meeting on the 29th. That's to co-ordinate between the determining bodies and to better understand the issues which affect the internationally protected sites," Andy Wilson, chief executive of the North York Moors National Park, told Reuters after a preliminary meeting with the company.

Sirius shares rose as much as 14 percent, fuelled by speculation among retail investors on bulletin boards that there could be a positive outcome to Monday's meeting, making the stock one of the top percentage gainers on the London Stock Exchange.

Approval by the park in North Yorkshire is one of many hurdles facing the company's ambitious project to mine polyhalite - a form of potash. While critics say the project could harm the region's ecosystem and tourism industry, supporters say it could provide badly needed jobs.

The stock lost a third of its value last week after a report by the park's consultants said Sirius had overstated the difficulties of building the minehead outside the park.

The company got an extension from the park on the approval process late last week.

Shares in the potash development company were up 8.8 percent at 21.30 pence at 1327 GMT.

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