Sirius 2019 >> MMXXI

Captain Black's picture

Special K : Valiam

"Fertilisers are routinely added to soil to enhance plant growth and increase crop yields. They include three main macronutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). If any of these macronutrients were to become unavailable or inaccessible to agriculture, a global food crisis of unprecedented scale would likely ensue. 

Potassium is integral to plant growth and animal health, but it is a non-renewable resource. Unlike nitrogen and phosphorus, whose supply and recycling details are well-documented, little is known about the potassium supply and consumption cycle. Although potash, the raw material used to produce potassium fertilisers, is abundant, it is located in the northern hemisphere, meaning its availability in the tropics involves a high transport cost.

By 2050, global demand for grain is expected to have increased by 60%, while global cropland area will have increased by only 10%. Estimates show that crop production needs to increase by 25%-70% above current levels to meet 2050 demand, but emissions and nutrient losses must drop dramatically in order to restore and maintain ecosystem functions. Can countries work together to close yield gaps in the Global North and South in order to feed humanity by 2050, when the global population is expected to exceed 9bn?"

"As #2018 draws to a close we’re saying goodbye to the Bauer team, who have constructed 7.2km of concrete d-wall panels at the #WoodsmithMine site. A big thanks to the whole team for their hard work and commitment."

"In 2016, just over half of the UK’s food supply originated outside the country, including 30% from the EU, 5% from Africa and 4% from South America. After Brexit, if the UK’s food imports originate less from the EU and more from countries in the Global South, the gaps between nutrient outputs and fertiliser inputs could widen (Figure 2). 

The UK is effectively mining nutrients from soils in the world’s poorest countries, which have no local fertiliser production. This makes food supplies even more vulnerable – especially when factoring in ongoing pressures such as climate change, which pose a significant risk to global food security. There are, however, opportunities for countries with no local fertiliser production to establish it, especially where there are known deposits that could be mined.

In many low and middle-income countries, minimal fertiliser is used for growing crops. Zambia uses the most fertiliser in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, at 46.2kg per hectare. This figure pales in comparison to the amount used in EU countries – 160.1kg per hectare. Latin America and the Caribbean use 127.9kg per hectare, and North America uses 126.6 kg per hectare. Countries with low fertiliser production should not necessarily be raising their fertiliser input to the same level as those with high inputs, because overuse is undesirable for increasing yields over the long term. To sustain the global food supply, fertiliser inputs will need to increase, but potassium inputs may need to double to compensate for what is removed by crops. In addition, intensification of agricultural lands is likely to be required in order to feed the rapidly growing populations in the developing world."

"What can be done about this global challenge? Local potassium fertiliser production in the Global South is urgently needed to enable agricultural systems in developing countries to feed local populations. National governments need to support geological exploration of potassium-bearing minerals such as potassium feldspar in Malawi, Ethiopia and Eritrea. It’s clear that the problem of potassium deficiency and other mineral resources for agriculture are not merely a global trade concern, and that much work remains to be done.

Geologists, agronomists and soil scientists must drive forward scientific initiatives to identify new potassium-bearing minerals and explore conventional mineral-based fertilisers in developing countries. Agronomic knowledge also needs to increase to allow us to understand the potassium status of soils, especially in Africa. This approach has been pioneered in Brazil, where the use of novel locally derived ‘remineralisers’ is federally regulated.

In addition, new markets need to be developed for alternative potassium fertilisers – a process that requires scientists, policymakers and economists to work together. The UK and EU countries stand to benefit from working with the Global South to secure food supplies both locally and globally. They can do this by discovering and investing in innovations such as mineral recycling, alternative mineral resources and alternative farming practices that improve soil quality and maximise yields. 

Scientific and policy leadership from the UK could help the developing world reach targets for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to make potassium consumption and production responsible and sustainable. We must understand the impact that local consumption has on the global market – not just for potassium, but also for the other minerals and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy diet."

Oh. Oh K?

LIV Long & Prosper




Capt. 'Bob''s picture

One Hat, One Man, One Mission

Knew it was somewhere :-


OOh I have some Snow Drops to go paint 

With Warmth & Depth :-))

“We’re a part of the land, the animals, the stars, the trees, the fresh air, the water,” Sumner says. “We look after that and it looks after us. We’re a part of it, we don’t separate ourselves from anything.”

Keep Digging ...

Captain Qahn's picture

Night & Day

It can wait...

"... formed by the eruption of some rather puny volcanoes along the Carmel crest some time during the Cretaceous, when dinosaurs were prowling the land, geologists say...

The carmeltazite was found within sapphires, Shefa Yamim adds. Both regular sapphires and carmeltazite are based on crystalline aluminum oxide, this is true. Carmeltazite’s specific formula is ZrAl2Ti4O11.

In color, carmeltazite is black with a tendency to reddish streaks and a metallic luster, though if one squints through various instruments one can discern dark browns and greens. And white spots (“It depends on the angle of light,” Taub observes). Internal reflections are absent, the geologists add in their characterization of it."

Ah, so ...

"The next LGF will take place on Thursday 7 February between 1.00 – 2.30pm at Sneaton Village Hall, Beacon Way, Sneaton, Whitby YO22 5HS."

Why I do believe that is almost a full circle ... and most certainly a time line.

Honk Honk

Have no doubt.

(About that Vote of Confidence in Corbyn ... he walked into that one :-)))

And the odds on the next Labour Leader are??

Keep Busy

About that Blue Marble ...

Captain Qahn's picture

Bob 'Pickling...'

"Robert Goodwill the Conservative MP for Scarborough & Whitby raised the question of funding for Sirius just now to Teresa May in Parliament. She could not answer fully as it is commercially sensitive but acknowledged meeting Sirius CO in China and commented it is the type of project we should be looking at which will be good for the North."

Cheers ;-)

"More than 1,500 metres beneath the rolling beauty of the North Yorkshire moors, a rich seam of mineral wealth that stretches across hundreds of square kilometres could bring billions to the regional and national economies.

It’s not oil or gas that lurks there but a naturally occurring mineral called polyhalite, a substance formed more than 250 million years ago, which contains sulphur, calcium, potassium and magnesium, four of the six elements essential for plant growth.

It has the potential to revolutionise the world of agriculture. It’s an organic fertiliser whose extraction and refining creates practically no waste product. If things go to plan, it could be taken out of the ground and sent to market within the space of a day by 2021.

The mineral will be mined, taken over tens of kilometres on a subterranean conveyor belt, then ground down and processed at a site next to a deepwater port. From there it will be shipped across the globe to confirmed customers in Asia, the Americas and beyond.

With the world's population set to hit nine billion by 2050, the 21st century is going to be defined by the struggle to feed more and more people from shrinking agricultural land resources. Advancements in fertiliser technology are going to be at the forefront of that fight.

Sirius Minerals, a mining company formed in 2003, believes that with polyhalite – to be marketed as POLY4 – it has found a product that will potentially bring in more than £2.5bn of exports a year when the project is running at full capacity by the late 2020s and create thousands of jobs.

However, before Sirius can even take a single tonne from the ground, they will have had to embark on one of the most extraordinary extraction operations seen in the industry, one that will see the deepest mine in Europe sank and the longest tunnel in the UK built.

Three kilometres inland from the picturesque seaside town of Whitby, the main site of the project is at Woodsmith mine, below the North York Moors National Park, a protected expanse of more than 1,430 square kilometres of heather moors, pasture and woods.

The mine will consist of two shafts sunk to 1,520m, the level of the 70m layer of polyhalite. Remotely operated machines will excavate the mineral, and it will then be taken up to a depth of 360m, where the 37km conveyor belt will take it to the handling facility at Teeside harbour.

Whereas the mining of most ores creates more waste than finished product, the purity of the seam at Woodsmith means all that will happen to the mined mineral is that it will be ground down and turned into POLY4 granules, before being loaded on to ships.

To assuage local fears that the project would compromise the landscape, Sirius has committed to industrial standards which will see more records claimed in this, the first new mine to be sunk in the country for 40 years.

The headframes – structures which contain the winching equipment that operates the lifts in the shafts – will be entirely underground, a unique feat. Construction of the shafts will be a novelty, too: the initial 120m will be bored down, rather than blasted with explosives, a British first. And the machine drilling down to 1,500m has only been used twice before around the world.

The entire footprint of the mine when the site is fully operational will consist of a scattering of agricultural-style buildings – the entire site will also be covered by 7,000 hectares of woodland, allowing for the carbon emissions of the construction period to be offset.

As Maurice Rankin, general manager of corporate communications for Sirius, says: “Sustainability [has been] at the core of everything we do – sustainable mine design, with as low an environmental impact as possible and stringent mitigation measures where necessary.

“This has resulted in unique innovations such as the sunken headframes and the underground transportation system, which had never been done before anywhere else in the world, to create an essentially invisible mine that will disappear into the landscape, at the same time as providing economic opportunity for generations to come.”

The company is currently in the middle of a second round of financing. The initial stage raised $1.2bn (Dh4.4bn) in 2016, which has funded the advanced state that both the Woodsmith and Teeside sites are in.

By the end of Q1 in 2019, Sirius aims to have secured an additional $3.4-3.6bn – $1.5bn in commercial loans matched by the same figure in a loan guaranteed by the British government, with the excess likely to come from the capital markets."

In for a penny ...

Ooh that put me off me dinner ...


Captain Qahn's picture

SXX & The Community

The next LGF will take place on Thursday 7 February between 1.00 – 2.30pm at Sneaton Village Hall, Beacon Way, Sneaton, Whitby YO22 5HS.

Erm ...   Why aren't those shafts all the same circumference ?

Weren't they sposed to be dragging it out on a drift?

Green ... the containers are sposed to be Green

Sweet Peas...

Hi Ho ..

"The moon will appeared 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter as it reaches its closest point to our planet."

Touch Wood ;-)


"This year's is Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

Captain Qahn's picture

The Waffle Shop

"Sirius Minerals has unveiled the first of its 1,800 tonne tunnel boring machines (TBM) that will construct the company’s underground mineral transportation tunnel between Whitby and Teesside.

The 225-metre-long machine is undergoing final checks in Germany before being shipped to Teesside in the coming weeks, where it will be reassembled and start tunnelling in the second quarter of the year. Primary schools across Redcar and Cleveland have been given the opportunity to enter a competition to name the first machine.

The single-shield TBM will be operated by leading construction firm Strabag, who also worked on the 35 mile Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Alps. Initial excavations have already begun to prepare for the machine’s arrival.

The machine will bore the first of three planned tunnel drives which will make up the 23 mile tunnel from a new underground mine, near Whitby, to a processing facility on Wilton International in Redcar. Two other machines are planned to be launched in 2020 from Whitby and Lockwood Beck, near Guisborough, to complete the final 15 miles of the six-metre diameter tunnel. Workers will operate the TBM 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, lining the tunnel with concrete segments as it goes.

When complete, the tunnel will transport up to 20 million tonnes a year of polyhalite ore on a conveyor belt from the mine, to a purpose-built processing and shipping facility in the shadows of the old Redcar Steelworks, for distribution around the world. A tunnel was chosen as the transport solution to avoid impacting the local landscape and will have no impact on the ground above, sitting at an average of 250-metres below ground level.

Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius said: “The assembly of our first tunnel boring machine represents an exciting milestone for the company and the region. With around 1,000 people currently employed across all of our sites, the team working to make this project a success continues to grow as we deliver this world class project. We expect to create hundreds more skilled construction roles in the coming months to help build our mineshafts, tunnel and mineral handling facility.”

Sirius expect to reach the polyhalite seam in 2021 and to be producing 10 million tonnes of fertiliser per annum by 2024, bringing about around 1,000 new long-term operational jobs."

Words ...


“I go in Smith’s a lot and I don’t think there is room.”

Twin Peakes?

Darn it ;-)

Thou must not worry ...

At Face Value.

Captain Qahn's picture

Glowing Global

"The funding package for the Woodsmith mine will now comprise three rather than two tranches, which will be drawn sequentially and linked to construction milestones.

The first portion is expected to be a $500m to $700m high yield bond, according to analysts, followed by $1.5bn of bank debt and a further $800m to $900m of loans guaranteed by the UK government’s Infrastructure Project Authority. Sirius said the new structure had been designed to reduce the risk to the UK taxpayer because the IPA debt would only be drawn once sales had started and the main construction risks had passed. However, analysts said the plan would result in higher financing costs, at least in the short term. Sirius has previously been looking to raise $1.5bn from government-basked loans.

“Each tranche of this new structure will be fully committed from the start and, whilst it may raise the cost of the debt for the high-yield bond, this could be possibly offset with lower rates for the IPA at the end of the construction period,” said Liberum analyst Ben Davis. Shares in the London-listed fertiliser mining group dipped 4 per cent to 21.5p, giving the company an equity market value of £1bn.

Woodsmith is the largest mine to be built in the UK for a generation. The highly ambitious project involves sinking two 1.5km shafts below a national park on the North York Moors to access a massive deposit of polyhalite. The ore will be extracted via the two mine shafts and transported to Teesside on a conveyor belt system via a 37km underground tunnel. It will then be granulated at a materials handling facility, with the majority being exported to overseas markets.

Its shares fell sharply in September after the miner said it needed to raise a further $400m to $600m of equity to cover extra costs associated with the tunnel. Sirius, a favourite of UK retail investors, has yet to secure the extra funding but supporters say Woodsmith is exactly the sort of project needed to make a success of the government’s Northern Powerhouse policy and was discussed during Prime Minister’s Questions last week.

“The Treasury department that is working on the investment guarantee does not have a Brexit mandate and is not being distracted by the unstable political landscape,” noted Mr Davis. “The collapse of two proposed nuclear plants, whose financing requirements are longer dated and more complex, only drives government harder to deliver investment in the North.”

Although polyhalite is a relatively unknown product, Sirius has secured commitments to purchase up to 8.2 tonnes a year of output from the mine, scheduled to open in 2021. The company did not announce any further offtake deals on Tuesday but said it was in advanced negotiations with a European partner. “Progress at Woodsmith appears to be largely in line,” said analysts at Numis. “However, the challenging elements of this very large scale build remain ahead and, over the short term, securing funding remains the key catalyst.”

Am not quite sure thats what was said ...

The TBM pathway :  R/2019/0041/CD


Power supply has been passed for Woodsmith & the winding machines... Noted. (an energy efficiency of >25% if my memory serves ...)

40,000 thousand trees & Climbing ;-)

All good to go ...

"I love the smell of mud in the morning..."

Have a Great Day.

"this band just found a spot in my audiophilic heart."

I'll second that.

"We understand the sale of the Sirius building is imminent and there are rumours that the Opal Towers developer Ecove is the government's preferred buyer," they wrote in an open letter to Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

"Such a sale would be a grave mistake and would provoke distrust in government processes and objectives."

So far so good..

"Analysts at Cazenove said that while the new structure "mitigates the projects' reliance on the IPA/UK government guarantee, the addition of the uncovered bond adds another degree of complexity which could put at risk the prior timing for financial close by Q1'19".

"It also puts upward pressure on the interest cost, where prior guidance (unchanged in today's release) is for an "all-in" cost of 6-7%. We reaffirm our view that the near-term equity thesis will be dictated by SXX's ability to secure the next tranche of financing, and as such look for additional procurement contracts and off-take agreements as focal points going forward."

Broker Liberum said: "Given its strategic importance to investment and jobs for the 'Northern Powerhouse' policy, it remains a priority focus for the government to see the work done. Following Theresa May's defeat on her Brexit deal, it was the Sirius Minerals project that was one of the first questions to be asked at PMQs.

"The Treasury department that is working on the investment guarantee does not have a Brexit mandate and is not being distracted by the unstable political landscape. The collapse of two proposed nuclear plants, whose financing requirements are longer dated and more complex, only drives Government harder to deliver investment in the North."

The 'Ard.

Captain Qahn's picture

Compere & Contrast


"If we are having problems raising finance for a gold plated tunnel it is time to do some value engineering.

On the west coast at Whitehaven, West Cumbrian Mining are proposing to access an offshore seam of high quality coking coal using the pair of adits (drifts) originally constructed in 1952 for Marchon's (Solway Chemical's/Albright & Wilson's) Sandwith Anhydrite Mine. Since discovering that the costs of dewatering the old anhydrite workings would be prohibitive their proposals have recently been modified but investigations have been carried out on these adits which are intact after 66 years. These tunnels do not appear to be fully lined, certainly not doubly lined.

These do not appear to be fully lined tunnels but are intact after 66 years

Why do we persist with our over-engineered fully lined "channel tunnel" when we are expecting it to be driven in a competent low permeabilty Redcar Mudstone?

There may also be advantages from an alternative "D" tunnel design in that both conveyor and maintenance railway may be floor mounted with only cables and pipework hung.

From document 40-STR-WI-230-EN-00004.C/HRA
Hydrogeological Risk Assessment – Phase 5 – MTS – Drive 1 – Wilton to Lockwood Beck
(page 38 of 49)

“the competent Redcar Mudstone Formation bedrock is of low permeability and is likely to be of very low storage coefficient. Therefore, the reduction of groundwater pressure around the tunnel is likely to occur rapidly and recharge through the mudstone will be very slow “

So, how necessary is a (thicker) lined tunnel?

"competent" - doesn't deform easily/will withstand loading (as with the main mine design in polyhalite).
"low permeabilty" - groundwater seeps slowly.
"low storage coefficient" - initial flows likely to be low.
"recharge slow" - unlikely to deplete aquifer.

The comparable Kielder Water scheme tunnels, (35 miles upstream from Wilton) were post lined at 200mm (in order to carry the water rather than physical integrity?) and have been in service for forty years. Many of the Durham deep coastal coal mine main roadways had no lining and in service for over a hundred years??

I am not a geologist or a tunneller merely a small investor wanting the best outcome for this project.

"on 20th February there is a Royal Town Planning Institute meeting in York (£35 + Vat) which will cover both Sirius and Fracking [There was what appears to have been a very interesting Enquiry into the Minerals Plan in North Yorkshire held early in 2018 in Northallerton in front of Mrs Ord (There were submissions from Sirius): The conundrum; do you prevent the exploitation of the natural gas (shale gas) by developing a fertilizer mine, or preclude the exploitation of a fertiliser mine by fracking for shale gas? From either does the seismic/deflection/subsidence impact the MOD's Fylindales radar...]

From the flyovers - What is the drilling rig doing back over the Production Shaft. It had an extended stay there to prove-up some of the geology and yet it is back?? But the evidence of concrete placement and spoil out bodes well for progress by "Bessie" the VSM on the MTS shaft.

Hope there's something in the above to provide interest and amusement while we await the St2 RNS. I'm very impressed that Sirius put so much information out directly and that the phased planning documents are all uploaded by the authorities for open public access. Back in the 1970's there was little such easily available public information on the Kielder tunnels but nor was there any site security in Rogerley quarry, Frosterley, so as a teenager with a dim torch I was able to wander down the trial adit at the weekend and see what the tunnellers had been up to (good job there was no gas 'cos the ventilation fan wasn't running either!).

Now on to the local history of tunnelling in the 1970s. 35 miles as the crow flies upstream from Wilton is the Eggleston southern portal of the Kielder Water Scheme which involved 32Km of 3.5m diameter hard rock tunnels between the Tyne, (Derwent), Wear & Tees. It was predicated on supplying the burgeoning requirement for water by the chemical industry on Teesside. All paid for by the public purse. By the time it was completed improved efficiency of water usage and declining industry meant it was a white elephant. This was a comparable tunnelling exercise. For Woodsmith/Lockwood/Wilton read Eggleston/Frosterley/(Riding Mill). By comparison Sirius is to be an entirely privately funded undertaking...

Kielder water scheme:

Compare & Contrast with Sirius' proposed 70m pillar (must be very competent material this polyhalite) and the stall taken in 3 slices.

Historically sinking mineshafts has been a risky business both physically and financially. Read under Description in this museum reference for the sinking of Murton Colliery in 1838.... 3 tanneries working full time to keep up with the wear on the pumps from the running sand...

So, 180 years and 40 years on is our (German!) technology going to deliver the shafts and tunnel so much quicker???

When we moved from the proposed polyhalite slurry pipeline to the underground conveyor in a tunnel it was stated that this was a "mine roadway" not to be confused with a lined Crossrail or Channel Tunnel. However, it has morphed into just that. Will someone confirm why this has to be? Is it the hydrogeology in the Redcar Mudstone? I do not recall the Durham coastal pits having extensive concrete segment factories? They went miles out under the north sea, mined longwall and the strata was allowed to collapse behind (see above). I've a suspicion that whilst there are undoubtedly some groundbreaking innovations there is a degree of belt & braces sneaking into this project with engineers/geologists/contractor organisations being driven more by protecting themselves from later criticism than exercising entrepreneurial flair. Bankers and risk, eh? What's that about the camel being a horse designed by committee?

Thank you to the posters who first spotted the Local Liaison Meeting at Sneaton Village Hall YO22 5HS 1 -2.30pm on Thursday 7th February. This presents a slight quandary as the previously booked Midlands Institute of Mine Engineering meeting starts at 4pm, 70 miles away at MRS Knottingley WF11 0BU "Technology applied to the high performance winding systems at Sirius Minerals" by Peter Hetherington and Sid Brady, both of Sirius. I'm intrigued how the LNG gas engines will be run. Even if there are not Fault Current issues it'll be Island Mode I guess to avoid depressing the voltage in Whitby when the winder operates... or are the power electrics so good these days that governors can react to maintain stable voltage when the heavy loads come on?"



Captain Qahn's picture

Phase 7 - The Shaft Build

Method Statement:

"The service shaft foreshaft excavation is now complete. Careys have excavated 43,000 cubic metres of earth to create a 35 metre wide, 45 metre deep concrete lined chamber which will eventually house our head frames. "

Phase 10? ;-)

Hmmm ...

Now where was that side by side conveyor & mini-rail ... in the fit out design.

More digging ... it was at a presentation...

Anyhoos here's an old one showing a bit more process

The November 2018 one ...

The Newcastle Geo ...

Obviously you can't dig half a tunnel ...

Captain Qahn's picture


Awesome ;-

"Sirius Minerals aims to become one of the world’s leading producers of multi-nutrient fertilizers. Their central purpose is to make a significant and sustainable contribution to global food security, one of the most important challenges facing the world today.

The Woodsmith Mine has been called the most mitigated mining project in the world. The project incorporates sustainable design and operations, minimal construction impact and energy efficient processes. Furthermore, Sirius Minerals have worked hard to safeguard and enhance the environment and support sustainable agricultural practices.

However, it is the firm’s commitment and desire to go above and beyond what was required by regulators and planning that impressed this year’s judging panel.
During 2018, mains power installation on site has almost eliminated the need for diesel generators, and in the coming months the installation of an LNG plant will offer cleaner, more sustainable power in the future.

Also, despite a simple granulation process that is free of chemicals and waste, designs have been optimised further – reducing power consumption by around 50%, lowering the thermal energy burden and removing the need for additional raw materials in the process.

Many, many environmental, landscape and ecology projects have been supported too. Locally sourced rare wildflower mix has been seeded; a wetland habitat established, and 7,000 hectares of carbon offsetting woodland will be created – that’s 10 million trees to you and me! Since just 2017, £700,000 of funding has been provided for local environmental projects."

If only we had an Eden project ... of the satellite variety.


Captain Qahn's picture

SXX : Phase Nine

Captain Qahn's picture

MIME Winding Systems

"Midland Institute of Mine Engineering meeting at MRS Knottingley 7 February 2019:
Application of technology in the high performance winding systems at Sirius Minerals by Sid Brady & Peter Hetherington, both of Sirius. - rough notes E&OE

The design is near cutting edge consistent with proven technology except in two development areas (optical miscoil detection, Levelock skip/cage holding system, winder control & protection?).

For production operation the 2 x 66kV cables in the tunnel will bring power from Wilton

Lockwood Beck intermediate shaft will now start sinking in April.

Both main shafts are 6.75m diameter and the installed hoisting capacity will be capable of 13.4MTPA.

The Blair type winders from OLKO. Winder shafts cast in Czech Republic (at Vitkovice?)

Production shaft has a second winder capable of back-up hoisting of 12 men.

The service shaft is the downcast shaft and capable of delivering men & material from -43m to -1540m

Double Drum Blair type winders. Drums all 6m diameter.

Rope 56mm diameter type Tiger 6 x 28TS (triangular section strand)

Safety Concept is a twin PLC system with comprehensive self checking and monitoring with features to reduce scope for common mode failure (Peter described the system in arcane detail).
Comprehensive speed/distance monitoring & control with multiple checks for out of normal especially approaching bank.

Production winding cycle graphs were presented. A maximum short duration load rising to 17.3MW is drawn as the skip accelerates (MCR rating of the motor is 9.3MW but forced air cooling and insulation temperature monitoring allows this intermittent overload operation).

The skip sits on the bottom during loading (otherwise 1.5m stretch in rope). The winder takes up the tension slowly during initiation before driving to maximum acceleration.

OLKO are a young company (8 years) but many of the personnel are ex-Siemag.

Normally all winding uses electrical ******ation (regenerative?). Disc brakes are only for emergency and parking. They are applied by spring and held off by hydraulic systems that provide a comprehensively controlled sequence of application to generate constant ******ation. Sid described in detail the multi-redundancy in the electro-hydraulic systems that monitor the multi-calipers and apply the necessary hydraulic pressures to ensure each achieves the required braking effect irrespective of individual pad friction.These systems are certified and separately tested and approved by the German Mining Authority and independent certifying body (DMT?)

With the comprehensive rope management and avoidance of instantaneous shock loading rope ultimate safety factor may be reduced from the UK historical 5.5:1 to in this case 5.08:1. Sirius have examined best practice in South Africa where the deepest mines are now down to a 3.4:1 factor of safety. 140k cycles is typical rope life which would give 18 months at Sirius. They hope for more.

The floating drum (on the production shaft at least) is to have roller bearings (not plain) so that it may be declutched to bring skips to the surface not just the -360m level.

Experience of mechanical miscoil detectors in South Africa is that they provide inadequate indication that a rope has jumped. Sirius are therefore adopting an optical system that will “learn” the normal coil shape and initiate a safety trip in case of any abnormality.

There will be a WiFi Kinetic Mesh for comms & data.

To avoid movement of the skip during loading & unloading the Levelock system will be used. This will also be adopted for the service cage (?). The skips are rope guided which is unusual for this depth

For air management at the -360m level there is a bulkhead at bunker bottom and a plug of mineral is always left in the bunker (or shut-off slide for maintenance).

The two bunker outlet conveyors discharge onto either of two cross conveyors which feed the main tunnel belt. Tramp detection is fitted so that either of these cross belts will automatically stop while the problem is investigated before the stray material reaches the tunnel belt. The bunkers automatically switch to continue to feed the other cross belt and mineral transport is not interrupted.

During shaft sinking the 11kV 10MVA supply from the Northern Power Grid Spital Bridge substation in Whitby is supplemented by both the LNG power house with 4 x 1.5MW generators (with space for two more) and a “6 MW” battery. These are expected to operate connected (fault rating of Northern Power Grid switchgear at Spital Bridge must therefore be adequate?). Winder power consumption during shaft sinking is estimated at 3MW and the battery is there primarily to meet instantaneous winder demand.

The 11kV supply from NPG will be retained for emergency (rescue) supply in the event of loss of the 66kV from Wilton through the tunnel.

End of meeting notes.

Verulam cogitates how heavy engineering in the UK has been allowed to wither. All the heavy kit appears to be sourced from abroad. As my post of 21 January: When the similar 35km x 3.5m diameter hard rock tunnels for the Kielder Water Scheme were constructed 35 miles upstream from Wilton they used UK built TBMs. Not as sophisticated as the Herrenknechts but that was 40 years ago. And only a 200mm liner to contain the water. I still haven't found why we have moved from a “mine roadway” to Strabag's double thickness fully lined tunnel when we are expecting to be in competent low permeability Redcar Mudstone

Kielder water scheme:

Would love to have chapter & verse on the hydrogeology that demands Strabag's solution. Are we in danger of over engineering to the extent that shareholders' funds are exhausted..."

ATB Verulam" via LSE


Phase 8:


"The term Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) does not exactly trip off the tongue. It's none too easy to get out of the keyboard either."


Captain Qahn's picture

SXX & Generation

"The Sirius Minerals Foundation has announced another £215,000 for local community projects across the area. 

In its latest grant giving programme, seven charities from the Yorkshire and Teesside coast will benefit from funding to spend on education programmes designed to enhance local people’s skills, which is one of the core aims of the foundation.

The organisation is an independent charity funded by Sirius Minerals Plc - who has its headquarters in Scarborough - to create a lasting legacy from the development of the company’s multi-billion-pound polyhalite fertiliser mine being constructed near Whitby and Teesside. 

This is the second funding round for the charity, having distributed £300,000 to 80 projects throughout Teesside, east Cleveland, Whitby and Scarborough in December 2017.

The criteria for this funding round centred on skills development, with the Foundation deciding to award between £10,000 and £50,000 each to the following groups:

  • YMCA Scarborough ‘Youth Matters’ - The’ Youth Matters’ project is to build voice, capacity and engagement and also increase social mobility for up to 40 participants, aged 13-18 (and up to 25 for those with additional needs) across the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area.
  • East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust – ‘Constructing Communities’, creating two 24-month construction-based apprenticeships for local young people. The Trust will be able to deliver more community-based projects and help increase the living options for those in housing need.
  • Coatham House in Redcar – ‘Reloved’ project offering 3 new apprenticeships for local young people in the catering and service trade working with the local college. The resources will help build capacity in terms of offering more work placements and volunteer opportunities offering accredited training to help clients progress into the world of work.
  • SASH in Whitby and Scarborough – ‘Improving Skills’ project to improve literacy and numeracy for young people at the risk of becoming homeless. In includes targeted and personalised support for each young person to obtain qualifications in both Maths and English.
  • Age UK – ‘Health, Wellbeing and Employment’ programme to help over 50s return to work in the area offering in-house group and 1-2-1 help with the main issues facing the older population.  The charity will be using a holistic approach to help these individuals move closer to the job market and look at all aspects of their lives.
  • Northern Regeneration CIC – Funding of the Construction Skills Village, to increase opportunities for people to gain construction skills by delivering a series of bespoke plant training and employment packages to support local individuals develop demand led skills in construction. This training will help support individuals to apply for demand led jobs in both the broader construction industry and Sirius Minerals mine when trained.
  • Community Furniture Store Ryedale in Scarborough – delivering a structured training programme to extend the work with people who are unemployed and face barriers to entering or re-entering work due to lack of skills and confidence.

David Archer, chairman of the Foundation commented:

"The Foundation has been deliberately designed to put money back into the community and ensure that local people benefit directly from the success of the mine. 

There can be no better long-term benefit to an area than having more people with better skills, so it seemed only right that we focus on this area this time around. 

The successful applicants impressed us with the thorough planning and clear focus of their programmes, which will create tangible outcomes that will make a real difference to people’s lives on the Teesside and North Yorkshire coast.”

The foundation has been given £2m in funding while the mine is under construction. 

Once the mine is complete, the foundation will be funded by an annual 0.5% cut of sales, which could be as much as £13 million per annum. 

Gareth Edmunds, External Affairs Director at Sirius Minerals and Trustees of The Foundation, commented:

“Sirius intends to continue to be an integral part of the community in North Yorkshire and Teesside for many decades, and the Foundation is an important way to help us give back to local people and provide a lasting legacy for the community. 

It’s great to see another round of hard working organisations benefit from this latest round of founding”.

"As an apprentice engineer with us, you will study for a nationally-recognised qualification while gaining paid, hands-on experience on one of the most exciting mining projects in the world. It's an exciting, multi-skilled apprenticeship programme which will focus on developing a sound knowledge of electrical, mechanical and instrumentation principles and putting those into practice....

Applications are open until April 2019, when successful candidates will be invited for a skills" assessment and interview."

Captain Qahn's picture

TBM Arrival

"The first of three tunnel boring machines which will create a 23-mile (37km) long tunnel for the extraction of mined fertiliser has arrived.

Sirius Minerals plan to transport up to 10 million tonnes of polyhalite a year from Whitby to Redcar.

The main parts of the 1,800-tonne boring machine arrived on Teesside after seven days en route from Germany.

Children in Redcar and Cleveland will choose the machine's name when it starts boring later in the year.

Polyhalite is a naturally occurring fertiliser which will be taken by an underground conveyor belt from the mine near Whitby to a processing plant near the former Redcar steelworks..." unloaded

Oh, OK ;-)

Captain Black's picture

Sirius Minerals & Technicalities

"Under one deal, Stockton-based steel fabricator, Francis Brown has been contracted by DMC Mining Services, the company sinking the mineshafts for Sirius Minerals, to fabricate and weld 50 t of steel formwork which will be used as used as lining for two 1600 m deep shafts at Woodsmith Mine in Whitby, as well as two shallower access shafts at the site near Lockwood Beck, Guisborough. The equipment will be entirely manufactured at the company’s Stockton factory.

The company is a global supplier of fabrication and engineering services to the renewables, chemical, rail, nuclear, power, construction, and oil and gas markets, and has long been associated with projects of global importance.

The second contract is with William Hare’s local steel fabrication facility in Scarborough, which has been contracted to manufacture 3000 t of equipment, including the steel headframes for the winding gear and the galloways used during the excavation of the access shafts for the 23 mile mineral transportation tunnel to Teesside.

The majority of the equipment will be fabricated in Hare’s local factory in Scarborough, with the remainder in Wetherby. William Hare Ltd (WHL) is a leading independent steel fabrication company in the UK and has helped construct many landmark buildings in London, the UK, and in over 50 countries throughout the world.

The headframes that William Hare will manufacture, also known as winding towers, are structural frames above the mineshafts which house the winding gear used for lowering and lifting workers, equipment, and mined ore. They will be sunk below ground level to reduce their visual impact, as part of Sirius Minerals’ strategy to lessen the mine’s impact on the local environment, which will see all surface buildings kept to a minimum and the site landscaped and screened by indigenous woodland to help it blend into its surroundings.

The 20 m tall galloways are multi-decked steel platforms containing excavation equipment which are suspended in a shaft during shaft sinking. They will be used to construct the Woodsmith Mine and Lockwood Beck tunnel access shafts, down which tunnel boring machines will be lowered to construct the underground mineral transportation system.

Steve Duffield, Director at William Hare said:

“William Hare Group is delighted to engage with and support Sirius for this strategically important investment for the region. Hare will support with local expertise and resource from their facilities in Scarborough and Wetherby as well as drawing down on other capabilities within the group.”

Jamie Brown, CEO for Francis Brown Ltd, said:

“As a 115-year-old family business, we are glad that Sirius and DMC recognise our rich heritage in providing unique fabrication and welding skills to a range of industries. The work we are doing is not only supporting real jobs and providing opportunities for our own apprentices, but also the wider community, through local stockists and sub-contractors.”

Oh :-)

Page 13 - Capex 3.2 inc .5 contingency financing costs .8 (is that 16 yr interest or arrangement fee?)

Page 14 - at Due Diligence & Terms & Conditions

Page 15 - shows a tranch draw down line 900:2020 1000:2021 800:2022   with accelerated payback at 2029 amortised to 2033

Far too complicated ... 200 due soon

Cheers ;-)

"Friends of Valley Gardens met earlier this week to discuss ideas on how to improve the gardens"



Boris was not stoopid


Captain Black's picture

SXX : Undercover

Captain Black's picture

Rustle Rustle

"Staff and local volunteers at the North York Moors National Park Authority have planted more than 40,000 trees in a year as part of a woodland creation scheme funded by Sirius Minerals, the company behind the development of Whitby’s new multi-million pound fertiliser mine.

The tree planting forms part of Sirius Minerals’ one hundred-year, £175m planning commitment to enhance the local landscape and offset carbon emissions from its North Yorkshire polyhalite project."


Posh gits ...



Captain Black's picture

SXX: An FT Boost?

"Plans to develop a giant fertiliser mine in North Yorkshire have received a boost after a “major global financial institution” emerged as potential backer for the $3bn project. Shares in Sirius Minerals jumped 9 per cent after the London-listed company said it had received a “conditional proposal” from the unnamed institution to develop the Woodsmith Mine near Whitby. Woodsmith is the largest mine to be built in the UK for a generation and could employ about 1,000 people after construction. The project involves sinking two 1.5km shafts below a national park on the North York Moors to access a huge deposit of polyhalite, a mineral that can be used as fertiliser. The polyhalite would then be sent along a 37km tunnel on a conveyor belt system to Teesside for export. Sirius has been trying for several years to secure a debt financing package for the mine but has been struggling to get a loan guarantee from the UK government, even though Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated her support for the project. Earlier this year, Mrs May described Woodsmith as “exactly the sort of project” needed to drive investment and exports in the north of England. Analysts said JPMorgan, the company’s broker, was a potential backer of Woodsmith, given its knowledge of the project. “The obvious ‘major global financial institution’ would be JPMorgan,” said one analyst. “They are the company’s main debt adviser.” JPMorgan and Sirius declined to comment. Given the size of the funding commitment analysts said the financial institution in question would look to syndicate the debt. Sirius is run by Chris Fraser, a former investment banker, who also founded the company. Its backers include Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart. The company had originally been seeking $1.5bn of commercial debt and $1.5bn of loans backed by the UK government. That plan was revised in January when Sirius said it was looking to raise $800m to $900m from government-backed loans, $500m to $700m from high-yield bonds, and $1.5bn of bank debt. Sirius said on Tuesday that the new funding proposal offered a more “flexible and attractive solution” to its funding needs and therefore it had decided to suspend discussions with existing prospective lenders. It said it would aim to conclude a deal by the end of next month. Based on its current spending plans, Sirius will exhaust its cash reserves by the end of the second quarter. As well as the $3bn of debt financing, Sirius also needs to raise $400m to $600m of equity to cover extra tunnelling costs at Woodsmith. Sirius said on Wednesday that it was progressing several options for the “additional non-senior debt funding requirement”. It offered no further details but the company is understood to be assessing an equity issue and leasing deals to raise the money, according to people with knowledge of its plans. Shares in Sirius rose 1.56p to 19.51p, giving the company an equity market value of $930m. “This does provide more clarity on the timing, and guidance for receiving commitments by April is a positive,” said analysts at Berenberg. “That said, more detail will be needed on the exact nature of this new funding structure.”"

Captain Black's picture

Sleeping Beauties

"The three names shortlisted have come from two local schools: Ings Farm Primary in Redcar and Chaloner Primary in Guisborough. They are:

Persephone – who, according to Greek mythology, is the goddess of the underworld and the goddess of harvest (Sirius is mining a fertilizer product);

Gertrude – after Gertrude Bell, the famous explorer and archaeologist from Redcar (chosen because of her connection with the local area, archelogy and searching underground);

Stella Rose – chosen due to the word ‘Stella’ meaning ‘star’ in Latin (and ‘Sirius’ meaning ‘brightest star’) and ‘Rose’ from the famous local landmark, Roseberry Topping.

The winning team will be invited to the machine’s unveiling ceremony at its launch site on Wilton, where they will have the opportunity to reveal a plaque with the winning name, before it commences excavation of the 23-mile long tunnel.

“Coming up with a shortlist was a very tough decision”, said Matt Parsons, External Affairs General Manager for Sirius."


Ah, so ;-)

Captain Qahn's picture

FT & The Daily Planet

"Sirius Minerals has proven itself mightier with the pen than the spade. A press release on possible new funding for its Yorkshire mining project sent its share price up sharply earlier this month. Sirius plans to raise $3bn to get the next stage of its polyhalite fertiliser mine under way. But capital costs at the project have been revised steadily upwards since it started. If the latest funding is secured, it is unlikely to be the last. Long-term shareholders know the pattern well. The peaks and troughs of Sirius’s share price chart resemble a cross-section of the Yorkshire dales. When capital costs for the project were revised up in September last year the share price headed down. Future rises should have the same effect. Total capital needs jumped $500m to $4.2bn — more than half again the original estimate of $2.9bn provided when it listed in 2005. Most of the difference pays for a 37km tunnel and underground transport system to move the polyhalite to a nearby port."

"A new, wider tunnel will cost $1.46bn or $39m (£28m) per kilometre. That figure looks low. Sirius’s estimate also includes the cost of a conveyor system. Tunnel costs increase proportionally with width. At six metres the Sirius tunnel is narrower than those for rail or road. Data from the British Tunnelling Society show that tunnelling costs for this diameter have ranged up to £35m per kilometre previously. Sirius had to revise its costs due to slower than expected tunnelling. Maintaining the previously promised pace of 25m per day would have matched a world record. Even the slower 17m per day estimate would rank very highly for tunnelling speeds. And the longer the bore, the more likely that tunnellers encounter the unexpected. Should dig costs rise to the heights of past projects, it would add $530m to costs — eating up its budget for contingencies. A market keen for good news has welcomed the promise of black ink to come for Sirius. Yes, some punters will happily finance a mining project with such an unorthodox route to market. Nevertheless, they should expect capital spending estimates to move even higher in the years ahead."

Image result for The Daily Planet


"SuperMegaFugly 18 hours ago This investment is a disaster waiting to happen. High yield holders won't ever recoup, let alone be paid all the coupon. The coupon will be paid out of equity...and as the project development schedule falls behind...the cash will be chewed up. As a career mining engineer, I am qualified to comment. The current executive team have totally undercooked the capital budget for shaft sinking and tunnelling, and the time it will take. Shaft sinking in that area is notoriously challenging, with specific hyrdrogeological and geotechnical issues. My prediction is that equity investors will be wiped out, high yield will take a big haircut, and in all likelihood, Gina Rhinehart, with her royalty investment, may well come away owning it at a fraction of what new equity has come in for. Caveat Emptor...the market has been warned. Hopefully the investment bankers making huge fees propogating this Ponzi scheme (read JP Morgan and others), will end up being held to account when this inevitably blows up. The big pity for any of us in the mining industry in the UK, is that the blow up will make the sector uninvestable for years."

"Scourge of the Economists 19 hours ago It is beyond silly that this mine is taking its product to port through a tunnel. A surface railway could have done the same for a small fraction of the cost and could have been constructed so as to be totally dismantled leaving no trace after the mine run was completed - basically you make it a very slow, very light narrrow-gauge railway on a steel frame instead of a large Mainline railway on an earth embankment. Just a stupid waste of money."

"LK Hyman 16 hours ago @Scourge of the Economists "A surface railway could have done the same for a small fraction of the cost" There's no way on God's green earth that the planners would have allowed a railway to built across the national park. As for dismantling it "after the mine run was completed", the life of the mine could be 100 years! Before the tunnel idea was adopted they were going to pump their polyhalite in a slurry through a shallow pipeline. That would have been cheaper and easier than the tunnel. One wonders whether the government financing idea is still extant .... that's another opportunity for Big Chris (Grayling not Fraser) to cover himself with glory after his Seaborne Freight triumph."

Back Door Stuff :-)


"If Lex had bothered to read how the new tunnel contract was structured that came with the capex bump, incremental costs on slow construction now fall to the tunnel contractor provided geologic conditions sit within their expected baseline, and given that from here the tunnel is only going through Redcar mudstone, the risks are low. Apart from the shaft sinking, they have derisked all the capex so to get bond markets on board."

Clearly he hasn't met Gertrude...

The Bloody Minted?

Spose you want some context ..

Big Foot... DYOW :

Captain Black's picture

George & The Dragon

"Sirius Minerals digs deep to make $5bn fertiliser mine a reality :

"At a windswept industrial estate outside Redcar in north-east England the next phase of a huge construction project is about to begin.

After a blessing with holy water the blades of a massive drill, which will drive a 5 metre-wide tunnel through the dry local mudstone, spins into life.

For Chris Fraser, the chief executive of Sirius Minerals, the launch of tunnel-boring machine Stella Rose is another important step towards his vision of building a $5bn fertiliser mine under the peaceful national parkland of the North York Moors.

But that dream will not become a reality unless the British-born Australian entrepreneur can raise $3bn in the debt market to finish the job. Without additional funding, Sirius — which means “brightest star” in Latin — will run short of cash later this year and work on one of the world’s biggest mines will grind to a halt.

Sirius has already raised $1.4bn from investors, including $250m from Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, but struggled to secure a loan guarantee from the UK government, even though prime minister Theresa May has praised the project."

"If Mr Fraser, a former investment banker who helped finance some of the biggest iron ore mines in Australia, is feeling the pressure, he is not showing it.
This concrete-lined chasm will house the submerged head of a shaft that Sirius will use to access a massive deposit of polyhalite 1,500 metres below the ground.

“We are making good progress,” he said after the launch of the tunnel boring machine this month. “We are pretty sure we will get this.”

Sirius revealed in March that it was in talks with a “major global financial institution” — understood to be JPMorgan — over a new debt funding package for the project, which it hoped to finalise by the end of the month.

“The best way to describe what we are working on is a capital markets-led structure rather than traditional bank and project finance”, said Mr Fraser. Sirius also needs to raise $400m to $600m of equity to cover higher tunnelling costs.

If it were not for a couple of cranes rising above the tree line it would be easy to drive past the Woodsmith mine, which sits in the hills two miles south of Whitby.

But behind artificial embankments a team of Sirius workers and contractors have cut a vertical hole as wide as a fairground Ferris wheel 60 metres into the ground. The concrete-lined chasm will eventually house the submerged head of a shaft that Sirius weventually house the submerged head of a shaft that Sirius will use to access a massive deposit of polyhalite 1,500 metres below the ground.

The company will use another shaft to extract the fertiliser, which will be loaded into a skip and hoisted on to a conveyor belt system 350m from the surface. From here it will start a journey to Redcar via a 37km underground tunnel, which Sirius decided to build to lessen the environmental impact of the project.

The polyhalite will then be processed and shipped to customers in the US, China and Brazil to spread on crops.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a mining engineer,” said Graham Clarke, operations director at Sirius. “It’s a chance to show the world we can still build big, complex mines in the UK.” The resource discovered by Sirius could support more than 100 years of mining.

If all goes to plan Sirius will start extracting polyhalite in 2021 and hit 10m tonnes a year of production by 2024. An expansion to 20m tonnes a year is planned but the company will need additional approvals from National Park UK.  Sirius has secured commitments to supply up to 8.2 tonnes a year of output from the mine.

Polyhalite, from the Latin “many salts”, combines four of the six macronutrients essential to plant growth: calcium, magnesium, potassium and sulphur.

Sirius said it could be used straight or blended with other fertilisers. One of the attractions of polyhalite, which will be sold under the brand name Poly4, is that it offers a cheaper alternative to speciality products such as sulphate of potash. It also has a low chloride content, which is better for plants and the environment.

“I think there is a market, and one big enough to be economical... though probably not as big as Sirius estimates,” said Berenberg analyst Rikin Patel, who expects the company to secure the $3bn of debt funding.

“Whether this happens in line with previous guidance remains to be seen.

It could easily slip into May although this wouldn’t be an issue.”

To date, Sirius has secured commitments — known as offtake agreements — to supply up to 8.2 tonnes a year of output from the mine, where it hopes to deliver more than 1,000 permanent jobs.

Yet big institutional investors in the City of London have not warmed to the company, which has a share register dominated by 85,000 retail investors, about a quarter of whom live in the north-east and Yorkshire. Over the past year, Sirius’s share price has fallen 26 per cent to 21p — about the same level it was trading at after planning permission was granted in 2015. The difficulty of building a global market for polyhalite, the risk of delays and cost overruns and question marks about the commercial clout and strength of some offtake partners — Sirius had to buy a stake in its Brazilian distributor — are just some of the concerns held by investors.

Back on Teesside, Mr Fraser and his chairman, Russell Scrimshaw, are steeling themselves for the next round of financing discussions. “The money is being swallowed up on everything that’s going on here,” said Mr Scrimshaw, pointing to Stella Rose. “We need to get the funding done so we can stay on the schedule we have set ourselves. “But I don’t think anyone who comes up here . . . would be anything other than amazed by how quickly this mine has evolved. It’s a major private sector project that we should all be very proud of.”


Captain Black's picture

Shaft Sinking

The hardness of the rock ... ;-)

Mebbe they will call that one Merlin...

"25 April 2019   Sirius Minerals Plc

Major European supply and distribution agreement with BayWa AG

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

"The European fertilizer market is highly advanced and the second largest in the world behind China.  We are delighted to be partnering with a leading agribusiness to distribute our POLY4 product into this key market.  Our exclusive partnership with BAST will enable us to reach downstream customers through the groups' well-established and extensive logistics network and long-term, trusted relationships with farmers.  Our exclusive partnership is structured to enable us to achieve maximum value for our POLY4 product."

Daan Vriens, CEO of BAST, comments:

"We are excited to be partnering with Sirius to bring a high performing, multi-nutrient fertilizer like POLY4 to customers across Europe through Cefetra.  We believe in long term partnerships and we feel confident that this will be a successful new endeavour.  POLY4 fits with our sustainability and farmer services strategies across our markets.  This will provide farmers, via our extensive networks, a fertilizer product that promotes sustainable agricultural practice in our home market, Europe."

"The pricing mechanism in the Agreement is linked to the downstream pricing received by BAST on the sale of POLY4 in Europe.  The price received by Sirius under the Agreement is determined by the price received by BAST with reference to benchmark pricing and the nature of the final BAST customer.  BAST is incentivised to sell the product further down the value chain (i.e. closer to the farmgate) and to optimise the best FOB netback price for Sirius. 

The Company expects this partnership approach to pricing to deliver it the highest prices across its current supply agreement portfolio.  Based on prices implied for POLY4 by current farmgate prices of polyhalite and similar products in Europe, this Agreement is expected to deliver prices to Sirius between the current offtake agreement levels and the full nutrient value of POLY4.

Subject to the parties' internal approval processes, the Agreement provides for the establishment of a joint venture vehicle for the management of sales and marketing of POLY4 into Europe, as well as the movement of product.  Subject to the establishment of the joint venture vehicle, the rights and obligations of BAST under the Agreement will be novated to the joint venture vehicle, while BAST would continue to guarantee the obligations of the joint venture vehicle under the Agreement. "

lol ;-)

Pssst ...  "German fruit" ??