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Sirius Minerals: The people who spent thousands on a Yorkshire mine

Sirius Minerals has 85,000 small investors, but the company’s troubles mean many are stuck in a hole.
Nigel Howard and Andrew Davies have both invested thousands of pounds in Sirius Minerals' sharesImage copyrightNigel Howard/Andrew Davies
Image caption Nigel Howard (L) and Andrew Davies (R) invested thousands of pounds in Sirius Minerals’ shares

For Nigel Howard, the chance to invest in the biggest mine to be built in the UK for a generation was too good an opportunity to miss.

The £4bn project – to dig up a mineral used in fertilising crops from underneath the North York Moors National Park – would potentially create thousands of jobs for a region with the highest unemployment rate in England and Wales.

So convinced was Mr Howard of its merits that the 76-year-old local man cashed in his entire £30,000 pension pot to buy shares in Sirius Minerals, the company behind the massive fertiliser scheme.

Now, however, like thousands of other individual investors, the pensioner finds himself stuck in a hole he can’t get out of.

“It looks as if we’re in dire straits with what’s going on,” said Mr Howard.