A quarterly update indicated there had been some delay to excavation of the mine, called Woodsmith, due to the weather in Yorkshire, but Sirius is confident it can make up the time lost.
READ: Fertile Ground: Sirius Minerals' second fundraising round is expected in 2018, will the success continue?
Appointing a contractor to sink the main shaft at the mine is the next key task and all avenues are being explored to ensure this happens as soon as possible and that the impact on the overall construction programme is minimised. said the statement.
Woodsmith, in North Yorkshire, is host to an estimated 2.6bn tonnes of fertiliser rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Sirius raised US$1.2bn for stage one of the project and is expected to raise a further US$2.6bn this year to fund the build-out of the shafts and a 23-mile tunnel to a terminal on the River Tees.
First production is expected to get underway in 2021.By 2024 Woodsmith is expected to be producing 10mln tonnes of POLY4 fertiliser with output eventually expected to rise to 20mln tonnes a year.
Elsewhere, site preparation work is substantially finished said Sirius, while the seismic survey for the underground mineral transport system (MTS) is also nearing completion.
Construction of the MTS is expected to start in 2018. Front end engineering and design work for the port and materials handling facility is also now underway.
“Commercial activities across all scopes of work are scheduled to be substantially complete by the middle of 2018 in order to facilitate the completion of the stage 2 financing process,” Sirius added.