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Sirius Minerals bulk scale strategy means low costs, says boss

Sirius Minerals PLC's 'direct dig and delivery' strategy allows its North Yorkshire polyhalite project to have very production low costs, chief executive Chris Fraser explained.

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Sirius Minerals is developing a large polyhalite project in the UK....

Sirius Minerals PLC's (LON:SXX) 'direct dig and delivery' strategy allows its North Yorkshire polyhalite project to have very low production costs, chief executive Chris Fraser explained.

Speaking in a video by house broker Liberum, the potash mine developer boss, explained how the orebody at the Yorkshire site was so thick and such high grade that everything mined will be the finished product and there was no processing step other than a sizing one.

"For us one tonne of rock that we move in the mine through our infrastructure system is one tonne of product that goes on the ship," he said.

The plan is the mine will initially produce 10mln tonnes of polyhalite a year, though there is the capacity to double output.

The cost to generate these 10mln tonnes is put at US$3.56bn, with the financing done in two tranches, and talks with potential funders were “well developed”, the firm said last month.

A long awaited DFS put its net present value at US$15bn using a 10% discount rate, rising to US$27bn once the mine is up and running. The after-tax internal rate of return is put at 26%.

Sirius' operating costs centre around bulk scale logistics, moving product and connecting it to the ship.

"When we compare that against other potassium (K) sources around the world from the chloride free standpoint we are miles below what they are..,"  he added.

Sirius shares are up 1.47% today at 17.25p.

Quick facts: Sirius Minerals PLC

Price: 3.55 GBX

LSE:SXX
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £249.22 m
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