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Sirius Minerals announces revised two-stage project development plan for polyhalite project

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World Fertilizer,

Sirius Minerals has announced a revised two-stage Project development plan for its North Yorkshire, UK, polyhalite project.

The plan comprises:

  • An Initial Scope to include progress of shaft sinking to achieve first polyhalite and Drive 1 MTS, significantly de-risking the construction of the Project. This work is estimated to require  approximately US$600 million of funding to be raised.
  • A Deferred Scope incorporating the remainder of construction activities required to deliver full production.

Strategic partner and financial investor processes are underway with the aim of securing the US$600 million of Initial Scope funding, with various parties engaged and assessing information.

On 17 September 2019 the company announced that as a result of market conditions impacting its ability to deliver its Stage 2 Financing, it would be slowing the pace of development on its North Yorkshire polyhalite project and undertaking a strategic review over a period of six months.

The purpose of the strategic review is to consider and incorporate optimisations to the project development plan and to explore alternative financing solutions, including conducting a process with the aim of identifying and securing a strategic investor. The company is pleased to provide an update on the progress of this work.

Chris Fraser Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, commented: "Our focus during the first phase of the strategic review has been to reassess the best ways to unlock the value of our project for our shareholders, our community, the UK, and our customers all around the world.

"Our analysis has identified a two-stage development plan that enables us to achieve the key de-risking milestone of first polyhalite, when the service shaft reaches the polyhalite ore body, with an upfront capital requirement of ~US$600 million. The additional works required to reach an installed and ramped up production capacity of 10 million tpy contemplates up to US$2.5 billion of capital expenditure.

We are in discussions with potential strategic partners and debt investors with the aim of securing the best route to finance our revised initial scope of work and will update the market and our stakeholders on the progress of those when appropriate.

The value of Sirius is unlocked by reaching production and delivering POLY4 to our customers around the world. This approach allows us to achieve that with less upfront capital while retaining the significant return opportunity it presents for our shareholders and stakeholders.

"I would like to thank our employees, contractors and partners for their continued focus and commitment, and recognise that the progress achieved on the ground in recent months remains a source of huge inspiration for the whole team."

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