Approvals update and additional sales commitments

Released : 19/07/2013 07:00

RNS Number : 6805J
Sirius Minerals Plc
19 July 2013
 



 

19 July 2013

 

Sirius Minerals Plc

 

Approvals update and additional sales commitments

 

The Directors of Sirius Minerals Plc (AIM: SXX, OTCQX: SRUXY) ("Sirius" or the "Company") provide an update on the York Potash Project planning approval process and its latest sales commitments.

Additional approvals documentation

The Company has been informed that the North York Moors National Park Authority ("NYMNPA" or "the Authority") has published on its website two documents prepared by its consultants AMEC.  The first is a full review of the Company's Environmental Statement.  The Executive Summary of this document was referenced in the announcement of 16 July 2013.  The Company will be fully reviewing the document as part of its work to address the outstanding environmental issues.

The second is a document titled 'Review of Major Development Test: National Need and Local Economy', also prepared by AMEC.  This document concludes that the need for the development has not been proven.  In the conclusion, AMEC states that it does not believe there is a significant market for polyhalite and therefore stated economic benefits are unlikely to occur.  This is followed with a view that as polyhalite cannot be sold in sufficient volumes, the economic and employment benefits cannot be realised.

There appear to be a number of omissions in this report and these will be addressed by the Company during the deferral agreed by the Authority on 18 July 2013.  The Company notes that this report makes no reference to any national need to create jobs and growth and many of the conclusions appear largely based on the findings of the 'Integer Report'.  In addition, the report makes no reference to the Company's extensive crop study programme and results to date, no reference to the 1 million tonnes per annum Chinese offtake agreement and only a passing reference to the Framework Sales Agreements ("FSA") signed for 310,000 tonnes per annum in the UK and Europe.

700,000 tonnes per annum Additional Sales Commitments - Southeast Asia & Latin America

Despite the conclusions of the AMEC report described above, the Company continues to make significant progress in customer support for polyhalite around the globe.  As part of this progress, the Company is pleased to announce that it has entered into additional agreements and commitments with fertilizer distributors and manufacturers operating in various countries including Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Thailand and Indonesia, for the future sales of polyhalite from the York Potash Project.

In total there are agreements and commitments from customers to purchase 700,000 additional tonnes per annum of polyhalite from the York Potash Project.  Of this total additional volume, the Company has entered into Framework Sales Agreements totalling 300,000 tonnes of annual volume commitments. The FSAs set out a basis for cooperation between the parties, in relation to entering into formal sales contracts closer to the time of first production - as is the fertilizer industry standard.  The commitments for the remaining 400,000 tonnes per annum are provided by letters of intent ("LoI") between the customers and KEYTRADE as contemplated by the marketing agreement between KEYTRADE and the Company which covers up to 1.75million tonnes per annum.  A total of 300,000 tonnes per annum of this volume is targeted for sales in Latin America.

These FSA's and LoI's are in addition to the FSAs for 310,000 tonnes per annum agreed in the UK and Central Europe and announced on 28 May 2013.  The counter-parties to these agreements are well-established manufacturers and distributors, and demonstrate the market and customer interest on a worldwide scale, while showcasing the growing demand for polyhalite in new markets.

Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, commented:

"This is yet further validation of the global market for polyhalite and the value the world-leading York Potash deposit has to customers here in the UK and around the globe.

These agreements further cement the importance of polyhalite and the exceptional case for the York Potash Project as the number of customers interested in gaining access to long-term supply of the unique multi-nutrient characteristics of polyhalite continues to exceed our expectations."

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Sirius Minerals Plc




Investor Relations

 

Tel:  +44 8455 240 247

 

Email:

ir@siriusminerals.com

NOMAD/ Joint Broker

Joint Brokers

Joint Brokers

Media Enquiries

Macquarie Capital (Europe) Limited

Liberum Capital Limited

Jefferies Hoare Govett

Pelham Bell Pottinger

Steve Baldwin,

Raj Khatri

Michael Rawlinson, Clayton Bush

Peter Bacchus

 

Charles Vivian,

Lorna Spears

Tel: +44 20 3037 2000

Tel: +44 20 3100 2222

Tel: +44 20 7029 8000

Tel: +44 20 7861 3232

 

About Sirius Minerals Plc

Sirius Minerals is a globally diversified potash development company. Its primary focus is to bring on stream major potash mining facilities through the acquisition and development of projects overlying recognised potash deposits.  Today it holds properties in the United Kingdom (North Yorkshire) and the United States (North Dakota).   Incorporated in 2003, Sirius Minerals' shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market.  Its shares are also traded in the United States on the OTCQX through a sponsored ADR facility.  Further information on the Company can be found at www.siriusminerals.com.

 

 


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