Sirius Minerals - Project Update

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29 June 2017  -  Sirius Minerals Plc : Quarterly update for Q2 2017

* The Project remains on time and on budget.

* Woodsmith Mine enabling works are now complete and site preparation works are well advanced.

* Diaphragm walling activities scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2017.

* Main Board move completed with Premium Listing obtained and FTSE 250 inclusion achieved.

* Sirius Minerals Foundation has launched first grant giving programme.

Sirius Minerals Plc ("Sirius" or the "Company") provides its quarterly update on the development of its North Yorkshire polyhalite project (the "Project") for the first quarter of 2017. 

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

"It has been a productive quarter with timely progress made on site preparation works in advance of shaft sinking commencing in quarter three.  The team on site and at our headquarters has grown considerably as we continue with the delivery of the Woodsmith Mine and its associated infrastructure."

Safety :

No recordable incidents were incurred during the period.  As on-ground activities intensify, safety vigilance becomes even more important and the Company's project team continues to increase its focus on safety matters as construction ramps up.

Cost and schedule :

The project remains on budget and on schedule. 

The Company continues to evaluate opportunities to accelerate components of the shaft and tunnel spend to further de-risk the implementation of the construction project, and potentially create opportunities for shortening the Project schedule.  Some shaft design optimisations have now been incorporated into the development plan and options to bring tunnelling activities forward are in commercial discussion with the preferred tunnelling contractor.  


Negotiations are nearing completion with AMC for the broader shaft sinking design and build contract.  The contract is expected to be executed in early Q3 2017 on terms consistent with those previously articulated to the market.  The Company is in discussions with the Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture in relation to agreements for early works activities which will form the foundation of the broader tunnelling programme.


On 4 May 2017, the Company was issued with its formal commencement of development notice from the North York Moors National Park Authority.  The Company continues to make good progress in clearing conditions required in advance of its rolling work programme.   

Site preparation:

Highways works around the Woodsmith Mine are complete.  Site access and initial ground water protection work is complete.  The main internal site access road has been laid and surfacing work is nearing completion.  The extension of the mine head platforms has commenced and the foundations for the on-site concrete batch plant are being built.  All tasks that require completion in advance of the commencement of initial shaft sinking activities are on schedule. 

Site preparation activities have commenced at Lockwood Beck - the site for an intermediate shaft for the mineral transport system.  This has included enablement highways works and general groundworks to support future shaft sinking. 

Geotechnical investigation:

The production shaft borehole is progressing with coring and testing completed to the 840m level.  The near surface geotechnical programme has now been completed and the results are being analysed and incorporated into the mine development design.  A programme of boreholes and seismic work to support the MTS design work has commenced.  Geotechnical drilling to help inform the shaft design at Lockwood Beck is also underway.   

Shaft sinking:

AMC is continuing detailed design of the shafts with a focus on completing the foreshaft component of the scope.  Diaphragm walling rigs are due to be mobilised to site in the third quarter of 2017 to commence work.  Planning for securing the winding equipment required for main shaft sinking activities has been completed and delivery of the equipment is on schedule.  The contractor continues to expand its implementation team in the UK.  The AMC team in the UK is co-located in the Sirius' office and a strong working relationship is being developed.

Sales and marketing:

Commercial discussions remain ongoing in the key growth markets of Europe, Brazil, South East Asia and Africa.  Each of these opportunities represents material volume opportunities in major long-term markets for Sirius.  The Company is encouraged by the increasing market interest and positive engagement from multiple parties in these key markets.                    


The agronomy programme continues to validate the four cornerstones of the POLY4 value proposition: efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility and sustainability.  During the quarter, 15 trials were completed and are being processed and 20 new trials were commenced on barley, cabbage, chilli peppers, corn, soybean, cotton, grape, grasslands, onion, potato, rice, tobacco, tomato and turf in Brazil, China, India, Ireland, UK and United States.


The Company has obtained a Premium Listing on the London Stock Exchange and was recently added to the FTSE 250 index.  Focus is now on planning and preparation for the stage 2 financing process.  

The Sirius Minerals Foundation (renamed from the York Potash Foundation), the independent charity set up as a community fund in 2012 to spend a share of revenues from Sirius Minerals' Woodsmith Mine, has launched its first grant programme.  This is after receiving its first funding of £2 million from the Company.  In the first funding year, the trustees of the Foundation are prioritising an initial grant giving programme of awards between £500 and £5,000.  This first programme is intended to help assess initial interest in funding initiatives throughout the Project area."

Oh, that Alphie Bo ... Ne'er mind.




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Just stayin  ...

Long Path = More Twinkle :-)


"Once the shafts are sufficiently underground, the Echo understands boring will begin to join the excavations together and create a route for Sirius’ mineral transport system, which will take polyhalite from Whitby to a handling, storage and distribution plant at Wilton, near Redcar."

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World On a Plate

"One of the many things that the past year of political turmoil on both sides of the Atlantic has revealed, is that governments have a questionable relationship with food. As the UK inches towards the completion of Brexit negotiations, and the Trump administration in the US unleashes its budget proposal, a strange kind of disconnect has become apparent: those negotiating their nations’ futures seem not to recognise that a chunk of its security and prosperity depends on how well they manage its food...."

Meanwhile ;-?

"On April 14 April 2017, a man reported he had lost his wallet while shopping in Scarborough. Later that same day, a Nectar card from the wallet was used in Sainsbury's on Falsgrave Road in two separate transactions, purchasing items worth a total of £482, using 96,500 points. 

Receipts showed that the points were used to buy items including three mobile phones, steak, pet food and chocolates. 

The card was left with a balance of less than £20 (3,622 points.) The suspect was caught on CCTV using the card and was arrested on 26 May and subsequently charged with theft of the wallet and two counts of fraud by false representation."

Now thats what I call a 'Sainsbury' marketing campaign...

Should have gone to Co-Op ;-)

Hmmm ...

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SXX: Choo Choo

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BHP 'Go Home ..'

says ET ;-?

"Activist investor Elliott has slammed BHP Billiton’s plans to develop a giant potash mine in Canada, warning it could be as “disastrous” as its foray into US shale.

Elliott Advisors, which has been campaigning for an overhaul to BHP’s strategy and board, attacked recent comments by the miner that it would seek to build its Jansen project in Saskatchewan province. BHP has set aside $3.8bn (£2.9bn) to develop the mine, though the total cost has been put as high as $14bn.

“BHP is now arguing that it should spend billions of dollars of shareholder money to diversify into potash. This sounds alarmingly familiar and comes as the company proclaims the dubious strategy of ‘Thinking Big’ – a concept that has been disastrous for BHP shareholders,” an Elliott spokesman told The Telegraph...

"Referring to the recent slogan adopted by FTSE 100 group, he added: “‘Thinking Big’ led BHP down the fateful path of diversifying into the US shale market – investing $30bn in assets that are today worth just $6.5bn. With that track record shareholders are correct in asking: Is potash the next US shale?  

“We share the deep concerns raised by analysts and shareholders that expanding into potash could be a severe strategic misstep.”

Potash is an essential ingredient in fertiliser and BHP said in a blog post earlier this week that it believed global demand for the mineral would double by the 2040s, creating a market worth $50bn.

“Potash demand sits at the intersection of inexorable mega trends ranging across demographics, economics, diet and the environment,” wrote Dr Paul Burnside, an analyst at BHP. “For the producer of any commodity, such an intersection is exactly where you want to be.”

"Andrew Mackenzie, BHP chief executive, reaffirmed the company's interest in developing Jansen in a speech in May, although he insisted that his focus was "on value" and it would only be built "when the time is right”. 

However, the project remains controversial amid sluggish potash prices and ample global supply.

New York-based hedge fund Elliott, which owns around 4pc of BHP’s London shares, launched its assault on the Anglo-Australian group in April, claiming it had consistently underperformed its peers.

Elliott has been particularly critical of BHP’s oil division, which includes onshore shale assets in the US and offshore wells, arguing it has little crossover with the mining business and should be spun off as a separate company.

In an update earlier this week, BHP revealed it would increase its spending on its onshore oil assets next year from $554m to $1.2bn, though some analysts have suggested this investment could be a precursor to a sale of the business..."


Yeah ... sod off.


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The Golder Touch



Ah, so ...

"Job Responsibilities:
Golder Associates Ltd. is seeking Geotechnical Field Technicians on a contract basis within our GTA operations (Whitby, Markham, Mississauga, Cambridge and Barrie offices). This opportunity will allow you to develop your technical skills in the field with like-minded professionals in an employee-owned international firm.

Successful candidates will be responsible for the following:
* Providing technical services in a field and office environment;
* Providing technical assistance in materials related projects and tasks, including carrying out field and laboratory testing of various materials on construction sites, in-situ density testing and testing of concrete and asphalt materials;
* Performing construction site reconnaissance, inspections and observations;
* Carrying out fieldwork, directing field work operations for subsurface investigations including layout, supervising drill rigs and/or excavators, logging boreholes and test pits, site surveying to determine elevations at specific locations, sampling soil and groundwater, and detailed site sketches;
* Using specialized equipment and apparatus to prepare analyses, reports and/or technical drawings;
* Summarizing and analyzing findings from investigations and lab testing for report writing; and,
* Working with and providing support to other members of the group in assisting with other field and office activities as required.

Job Requirements:
The successful candidate will possess the following:
* College Diploma in a Civil Engineering program or a Civil Engineering Technology or Construction Engineering Technology diploma program, preferably with a focus on Geotechnical Engineering;
* Previous experience working as a geotechnical technician is an asset;
* Must own a vehicle with appropriate insurance coverage and hold a valid driver’s license;
* Good written and verbal communication skills;
* Strong organizational skills; and,
* Knowledge of drilling procedures is an asset.

In addition, to be successful at Golder Associates, you will be able to demonstrate the following Success Attributes: an ownership attitude, initiative, enthusiasm, a desire to continually learn and grow, a detail and quality focus, good judgement, a good work ethic, is adaptable and good communication skills."

Oh.   Ere ... you dig here.... (points fingre)

UK 11 jobs...

WtF is Barrie...


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SXX: Shaft Planning

Minor Material Amendments :

Details for Application - NYM/2017/0505/MEIA

"variation of condition 5 of planning permission NYM/2014/0676/MEIA to allow minor material amendments relating to that part of the development at the Woodsmith Mine site (formerly known as Doves Nest Farm and Haxby Plantation), including; re-design of foreshafts and shaft construction methodology, changes to building layout and shaft access arrangements, revisions to construction and operational shaft platform levels, revisions to location and layout of surface water attenuation ponds, revisions to groundwater management arrangements and amendments to internal access road arrangements.."

"Minor changes to the approved scheme are required to incorporate detailed design changes at Woodsmith Mine, as efforts are made to deliver a highly efficient mine that minimises its environmental impact..."


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SXX & AMC - At Work

IT Technician

Civil Engineer

Training Agent

Purchasing Agent

"AMC UK are currently looking for an experienced Purchasing Agent to be responsible for the direct activities of the Buyers and ensuring the acquisition of assigned materials in a timely manner, administration of internal processes and to provide support to all members of the Commercial Team. "


Eh, So ...Bauer...

Idle Bones.