Sirius Minerals finds $3bn backer for English potash mine
Sirius Minerals, the British company behind the construction of a massive potash mine in North Yorkshire, has announced an alternative financing plan for the $3bn project.
The company, which has been seeking investment to further develop Britain’s biggest fertiliser mine for the past three years, has revealed a conditional proposal from “a major global financial institution” capable of putting in place an alternative senior debt structure to move the project forward.
In a statement released today Sirius Minerals said: “The Company believes that the Alternative Proposal potentially offers a more flexible and attractive solution to its stage 2 financing requirements and therefore it is pausing discussions with its existing prospective lenders to pursue the alternative proposal.”
The Company has been pursuing a senior debt financing with a group of prospective lenders since 2016. This was most recently adjusted on 22 January 2019 to focus on a $3bn multi-tranche structure. The Alternative Proposal contains an alternative senior debt structure to completely replace that structure.
The Company believes that the Alternative Proposal potentially offers a more flexible and attractive solution to its stage 2 financing requirements and therefore it is pausing discussions with its existing prospective lenders to pursue the Alternative Proposal.
The Woodsmith Mine, scheduled to open in May 2021, is a 2.66 billion tonne polyhalite project - the largest high-grade polyhalite resource in the world. It’s poised to generate 10 million tonnes per year, of the form of potash used in plant fertilisers, before entering a second phase which will see production double to 20 million tonnes per year.
Located near Whitby in the North of England, Sirius Minerals is currently implementing major infrastructure that will connect a deep shaft system and an underground tunnel directly to nearby sea ports and shipping channels.