North Yorkshire mine remains on track as Sirius Minerals deploys £148m first half of 2018

Mining firm Sirius Minerals has reported a reduction in its operating loss as “significant milestones have been achieved” in the first half of the year, during which it spent £148m on the North Yorkshire mine project.

Publishing its results for the period ending 30 June, the Scarborough-based firm reported an operating loss of £10.8m compared to £14.7m in the prior corresponding period.

This reduced loss is being driven by a cutback in certain one-off charges incurred in 2017, said Sirius Minerals.

Sirius also deployed £148m during this time for the purposes of developing the Woodsmith Mine, a polyhalite project near Whitby, where the firm is also building a 23-mile long tunnel to transport fertilizer underground between North Yorkshire and Teesside.

Due to these results, the company said that the mining project remains on track to deliver first polyhalite and commercial production on time.

Sirius said the timeline has been boosted with the design and build contract it had signed with DMC Mining Services for the four shafts required for the project, and a second design and build contract signed with STRABAG for Drive 1 of the mineral transport system.

Chris Fraser, managing director and CEO of Sirius, said: “Construction activities at our sites continue at pace and significant milestones have been achieved in the first half of the year, such as breaking ground at Wilton.

“This, combined with excellent progress to our procurement process, has ensured the Project remains on track to deliver first polyhalite production on time in 2021.

“Post the balance sheet date we have finalised the major procurement packages for the Project and are diligently reviewing the most appropriate form of financing to cover the revised capital funding requirement increase of between US$400m to US$600m, to complement the successful delivery of stage 2 financing.

“Since the period end and in line with the schedule set out in our full year results, we have received US$250m from our stage 1 royalty financing instrument with Hancock to fund project progress in advance of stage 2 financing.

“I want to thank all our employees, contract partners, shareholders and supporters for their continued confidence in the Project and its long-term market potential.”

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