In a trading update for the fourth quarter, Sirius said that “significant construction progress” had been made during the period.
In a statement, Sirius said: “The company remains on track to achieve first polyhalite and commercial production on time and in line with the cost schedule announced on September 6 2018.”
Chris Fraser, the managing director and CEO of Sirius, commented: “2018 was a year of significant progress for the company. Completion of procurement to support the stage two financing and the signing of an additional 4.8 Mtpa of take-or-pay supply agreements, have been substantial achievements. Considerable progress has been made across all our construction sites and development activities are advancing at pace. More than 800 people are now employed on the project, demonstrating the transformational potential for jobs and growth in the local area.
“Executing our stage two financing plan remains our priority. We continue to make progress towards obtaining stage two financing commitments and are working constructively with all relevant parties to achieve this. The process with the lenders is continuing this quarter as we work through the due diligence reports with the lending group and progress discussions on the revised debt structure.”
Sirius Minerals’ giant polyhalite Woodsmith Mine, near Whitby, is a £3.2bn capital investment project which is expected to generate £100bn for the UK economy over the next 50 years.
Apart from creating 1,000, long-term, skilled jobs, the project is also set to support 1,500 supply chain jobs.