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Whitby Potash Mine Owner Sirius Minerals Could be Sold

Whitby Potash Mine Owner Sirius Minerals Could be Sold

Published by Karen Liu at 8:09am 8th January 2020. (Updated at 11:54am 8th January 2020)

Whitby Potash mine owner Sirius Minerals has announced it could possibly be taken over.

There could be an offer from Anglo American to buy the whole company.

Sirius Minerals, who currently own the potash mine near Whitby, says its board is in "advanced talks" regarding a possible all cash offer of 5.50 pence per Sirius share for the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of Sirius, at approximately £386 million.

Many private investors hold shares in Sirius including a large number of local people, many will have bought their shares when they were over 20p a share.

The share price was as high as 22p a year ago and peaked at 44p in 2016, though had fallen to 4.1p by the close of trading on Tuesday.

Sirius has been reviewing the financing of the North Yorkshire polyhalite mine after scrapping in September a plan to raise about £400m in a bond sale, delaying the project.

The review included a search for a new partner and investor to help fund the development. The UK government had declined to back it.

In response to the announcement today, Anglo American said:

"Anglo American identified the Project as being of potential interest some time ago, given the quality of the underlying asset in terms of scale, resource life, operating cost profile and the nature and quality of its product.

 The Project has the potential to fit well with Anglo American's established strategy of focusing on world-class assets, particularly in the context of Anglo American's portfolio trajectory towards later cycle products that support a fast-growing global population and a cleaner, greener, more sustainable world.

Anglo American believes that the possible offer could provide certainty to Sirius' shareholders, whilst Anglo American brings the financial, technical and marketing resources and capabilities to progress the Project over time."

In September 2019, Sirius announced that it was undertaking a strategic review in order to assess the development plan for its polyhalite project and an appropriate financing structure to provide relevant funding.

Sirius also announced that the strategic review would include a broader process to seek a major strategic partner in the Project.

In November 2019, Sirius provided an update on the progress of this strategic review, including a revised two-stage development plan.

RELATED STORIES: Revised Plans Published For Potash Mine Near Whitby

In its announcement today, Sirius Minerals said:

"Subject to the successful outcome of on-going discussions (including satisfactory assurances as to the safe-guarding of employee and other stake-holder interests and the agreement of the full terms and conditions of any offer), the Board of Sirius has indicated to Anglo American that it expects to be able to recommend a firm offer for Sirius if made by Anglo American at the price set out in the Proposal.

There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made."

Anglo American has until no later than 5pm on 5th February to announce either a firm intention to make an offer for Sirius Minerals, or announce that it does not intend to make an offer.

You can find out more here:

Anglo American, is one of the world’s leading mining companies, with mining operations in diamonds, copper, platinum group metals, iron ore, coal and nickel.


There are 3 comments on this page.

zara, on 8th January 2020 9:55am
well what a surprise and i bet the current owners come out of it with lots of dosh and the small investors?????? They could not get the money from the taxpayer so not want to make their fortune from selling before it even produces... Cynical yes i definitely am, badly thought out scheme to start with
Ian Dixon, on 8th January 2020 8:10pm
As a local I campaigned from the start for this Project, attending lots of meetings and putting numerous letters on the internet and local newspaper.
I campaigned as I thought it would be a great opportunity for the local and national economy. I thought it would bring lots of jobs for locals ?
Instead it has been a total let down, financially and employment wise.
Thousands of local have sunk their hard earned savings in hoping for a great investment and also to support the project as they believed it would bring a big boost for employment. Instead thousands will see a pittance of a return for their investment, making a big loss instead of seeing their nest eggs grow.
As for jobs how many locals actually got decent jobs on the construction ?
I personally feel there should be a public enquiry into the whole debacle.
As usual though the people at the top will still come out okay, they will probably get jobs with the potential new owners while the local investors end up paying the price for the poor planning of the whole project.
Ian Dixon, on 10th January 2020 6:01pm
Sirius Minerals were due to have a Public Liaison Meeting on Monday at Hawsker Village Hall.
But guess what ?
They have called it off !
Are they scared to face the angry shareholders ?
I bet we never get a chance to speak before any decisions are made.
The whole Sirius Project has become a financial disaster for many in North Yorkshire.
Shareholders are going to be offered a pittance, basically Sirius Project start up will have been paid for by locals savings !
Hold your head in shame Sirius, but they will be okay.
I' m alright Jack !

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