Sirius Minerals shares rise after revised multi-billion pound funding

The company has said it will split the funding for its huge development into two stages.

Sirius Minerals has set out revised plans on how it plans to finance its stricken multi-billion mine project.

The company behind the world’s biggest mine of its kind, on Teesside’s doorstep, pulled a £400m fundraising attempt in September .

The news sent its share price into freefall and raises serious doubts over the future of the £3bn development.

Sirius has been holding a “comprehensive” review to look at ways of securing a funding lifeline.

It has today provided an update to investors – saying it will spilt funding for the project into two stages.

The company will now seek to raise an initial $600m (£470m) by the end of March 2020 to fund the construction of the mineshafts at its Woodsmith mine near Whitby and the first section of the tunnel only.

The remaining infrastructure (the rest of the tunnel, and processing/shipping facilities at Teesside) will be deferred for between 12 and 24 months, and financed separately – up to $2.5bn (£2bn).

The company says it believes this approach will reduce costs and mitigate financing risk.

The latest update saw shares in Sirius rise 14% to 3.64p in early trading on Monday, although the stock was 17p in May and 11p before September’s announcement.

Sirius added it is already in discussions with potential investors to raise the initial $600m.

Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius, said: “The value of Sirius is unlocked by reaching production and delivering POLY4 to our customers around the world.

“This approach allows us to achieve that with less upfront capital while retaining the significant return opportunity it presents for our shareholders and stakeholders.

“I would like to thank our employees, contractors and partners for their continued focus and commitment, and recognise that the progress achieved on the ground in recent months remains a source of huge inspiration for the whole team.”

Around 300 of the 1,200 workers building the mine and Teesside process plant have been stood down since the start of a construction slowdown.


The entrance to the main shaft at the Sirius Minerals mine (Image: Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

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